What’s Your Plan for 2019?
Starting October 1st our lead generation weekly standard needs to be in alignment with 2019’s goals! That is because 4th and 1st quarter’s seed-planting activities should make up for 70% of the pipeline you want to create for 2019. In this blog we take the first step with business planning regarding working by referral. This is a generalization and only a beginning. We will talk about which numbers to use. Please note that, as a company, we believe that the numbers alone may not sustain your drive for a year. In my experience your number must be attached to a larger, personally meaningful vision. The focus of this blog is to equip you to end September with a mathematical understanding of how much contact you need in 4th quarter to execute 35% of the needed lead generation activities for 2019’s goal. Math and tasks will fall flat if the driving vision doesn’t tug on your heart. The activity you engage in must be about your people, more than just the pipeline. You need both, however, to act with certainty in your professional life.
We need to know three things to begin your 4th quarter activity plan:
- Your contact-to-referral ratio
- Your referral-to-close ratio
- Your 2019 closing goal
Let’s start with the 2019 closing goal. THAT is where your vision comes in. Whether you are Spectrum, Specific or Global in your Heritage Profile; your goal setting style reflects your focus. I have clients who have trouble with anything outside 10-day goals. Others are masters at Brian Moran’s 12 Week Year, and others who think about 10-20 years out from now. All styles are perfect! Lean in to your coach to help you focus on what brings you joy, contentment, safety, exhilaration. Whatever your preference, begin with what you have in your head, feelings or facts – it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that it comes from you, not comparison with someone else or the obligatory “bigger than last year.” Write down on paper what it will be like to live your best life. Now, what part of that are you going to have in 2019? It will cost money. That is where we find our number.
Math is marvelous! You can use the generalized math below in any business, the ratios will just shift. If you track the activity it takes you to generate a lead, all of your leads, as well as your closings; you will know an exact formula for success! Here are three important numbers to identify for yourself:
- Contact-to-referral: Most people have NO idea how many times they have to ask for business before they get a referral. That is exactly why it is important to track. You can find this number on your business dashboard in Referral Maker. This number will prove true for you over time.
- A high ratio may indicate that how you ask for a referral is unclear or confusing to the listener. Or perhaps you are not asking at all!
- A low ratio may indicate that you are unaware of where your business actually comes from or that your tracking data is incomplete.
- If you have not been tracking; a generally safe number for a real estate agent is 20:1 or 12:1. This depends on how many years you have been in the industry and/or kept in contact with your database.
Your database is a list of relationships. The deeper the relationships, the more they support and refer you. You cannot deepen a relationship with anyone without spending intentional time with that person. The holiday season is the easiest time to invest in your relationships. It is the appropriate time of year to take a deeper interest in people and lavish more personalized gifts and attention. Personal notes, thoughtful video messages and happy hours are all appropriate. Even though you will be asking for referrals, it starts with a givers mindset. What experience do you want to give your database? Think about the 3 G’s: Gatherings, Gifts, and Gratitude.
- Referral-to-closing: Most people have a general idea or can make an educated guess as to how many referrals, of the ones they get, pan out. Often, it takes 2-3 referrals to get a closing, when it comes to real estate. You can find this number on your business dashboard in Referral Maker.
- Your closing goal for 2019: This can be desired volume: or sides: or transactions: or adjusted gross commission. For our purposes, please take that number and break it down into transactions. Multiply the # of transactions for 2019 by your conversion ratio (contact to referral x referral to close) and again by .35. That will get you the number of asks for business in 4th quarter of 2018. Use the Business Goals page in Referral Maker CRM to walk you through this.
Example: It takes me 12 asks for business to get a referral. It takes me 3 referrals to get a closing. That means, over the course of a year, it takes 36 asks for business to get a commission check. Let’s say I’d like to close 24 deals. I will need to specifically ask for business 864 times. That is easy if you make a plan. Remember, we want to do 70% of 864 asks during 4th and 1st quarter. That is 302 asks in 4th quarter – or 101 in each month of 4th quarter. That breaks out to about 25 contacts within the database a week. EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY! Here are some ideas to get you started: Put together a quick wine tasting happy hour with 5 people, deliver 20 fall Pop-Bys, text your favorite friends about the fall listing that just went live.
How much and how well your database experiences contact, care and community from you in the 4th quarter will directly relate to how well you do in business in 2019. Identify the three important numbers to your plan: your contact-to-referral and referral-to-close ratios as well as your business goal. After that, have fun planning out how you will get face to face and voice to voice with as many of your relationships as possible!Lindsey Zimmer