By Ralph Roberts
RISMEDIA, June 4, 2007-As I discussed in Part 1 of this two-part series, my “Hour of Power” began as a networking tool designed to boost referrals. Every weekday, I devote one solid hour to calling 100 people I know just to touch base. Although my Hour of Power is dedicated to placing phone calls, the primary reason it is so effective is that it focuses my time and energy on performing a single task in a limited amount of time. It enables me to do something that most people would never conceive possible-calling 100 people in 60 minutes.
Most salespeople hate making phone calls, so they procrastinate. They may look at a list of 100 people to call and think, “This is going to take me all day!” So, what do they do?Â They put it off, and it never gets done. By setting aside 1 hour to make those calls and removing all distractions, you force your mind into a tunnel in which the only way out is to place the phone calls. You force yourself into “the zone.”
The source of power in the Hour of Power is focused energy. Instead of taking an overwhelming chore and setting a “realistic” timetable, you take an overwhelming chore and tell yourself, “Okay, now you have only 60 minutes to do this. Get going, the clock’s ticking.”
This same technique can be applied to any aspect of your business-the more you hate performing a particular chore, the better a candidate it is for an Hour of Power.
Consider extending your Hour of Power to different aspects of your marketing plan. Set aside an Hour of Power once or twice a week for writing blog postings or articles. Set aside another Hour of Power for contacting reporters. Spend an Hour of Power reviewing your marketing plan, improving what works, and removing what doesn’t. Spend an Hour of Power networking with other professionals in your industry or sending greeting cards to past clients.
When establishing an Hour of Power for any activity, keep the following key points in mind:
1. Expand work, condense time. Pack as much work into that hour as possible, so the task seems nearly impossible.
2. Set a clear, measurable goal. You can’t get much clearer or more measurable than 100 phone calls in one hour.
3. Stick to one hour. Do not fall for the temptation of giving yourself more time. At the end of the hour, stop.
4. Schedule a specific hour of the day or week. If it is not written down on your calendar, it is too easy to push off your schedule.
5. Eliminate distractions. Devote your hour to a single task.
6. Keep accurate records to keep yourself honest. You need to hold yourself accountable for your Hour of Power commitments. When I coach people, I tell them from the very start that I can offer them many ideas and systems for boosting sales, but they have to put these ideas and systems in action. I require all those I coach to submit weekly Hour of Power reports, showing the number of calls they made each day. I often receive only apologies and excuses. Apologies and excuses do not boost sales.
One word of caution concerning your Hour of Power. Apply it only to tasks that you need to perform to generate business-what I like to call dollar productive activities. You should not be wasting your time on chores that do not generate sales. Your job is to market yourself and your business and meet with prospects and clients. Hire out everything else.
The Hour of Power is all about maximizing your efficiency in carrying out dollar productive activities. Identify the activities that are going to generate the most business but that you often put off, and set aside a fixed amount of time every week to carry out those activities.
Remember, becoming a top producer is not easy. Sales gurus often claim to offer seminars, books, and CDs that reveal the hidden secrets of sales success, but the fact is that there is no secret. You have to work at it. Start today. If you need help, call me at 586.751.0000, e-mail RalphRoberts@RalphRoberts.com, or visit www.AboutRalph.comÂ for more information.
Official Spokesperson for Guthy-Renker Home, Ralph R. Roberts is an award-winning and internationally recognized real estate agent, speaker, and coach and author of several books including his most recent, Flipping Houses For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons).