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If you’re like my friend and fellow agent Debbie, you dread the tedious process of keeping up with all of your prospects, past clients and sphere of influence within your CRM (customer relationship management) system. As salespeople, most of us want freedom, and a CRM is meant to give us that. However, Debbie felt that her time was being held captive by her CRM.

Debbie loves horses, and in non-pandemic years, she typically spends four weeks riding horses in breathtaking locations around the world. She prefers not to work nights, and rarely works an entire weekend. Even though Debbie has more freedom and better life balance than most, she could never completely unplug from business because all the little details she was afraid of forgetting kept swirling around in her head. Even when she was riding majestic horse trails in Spain, she was thinking about Mary, the prospect with an upcoming move to Atlanta, because she didn’t want to forget to follow up.

Debbie decided to make a change to instead embrace her CRM and use it to eliminate the millions of details swirling around in her head. She learned that the opposite of freedom—daily discipline—is the only thing that leads to true freedom. She committed to using the following process each week:

Review each lead received in the last week. Whom has she met and is moving forward with? Who needs more attention to connect? How are they categorized? What follow-up plans are in place in the CRM?

Pick a lead from a week ago and look it up in the CRM. Review the following five questions on this lead/prospect: Are they categorized correctly? Are they receiving phone calls, text messages and emails—and is all communication logged into the CRM? Do they have an upcoming to-do item, and no outstanding to-do items? Are they set up on an e-alert for listings? Have they recently had any online activity that should be followed up on?

Go back one month and pick another lead/prospect that hasn’t been converted into a client and ask the five questions above.

The process above is what Debbie goes through once a week to ensure that her mind can be free from millions of details she can’t forget. If you believe there’s something different in store for you, something much better than where you are today, then ask yourself where you need to be more disciplined. If you’re interested in exploring how having a personal business coach might help you create better balance in life, please visit

Cleve Gaddis has an MBA from LSU, and is a master coach, speaker and trainer with Workman Success Systems who works with some of America’s most profitable teams. He specializes in helping family-owned brokerages and teams navigate the challenges unique to family businesses. Gaddis hosts “GoGaddis Real Estate Radio,” a weekly show on AM 920 The Answer in Atlanta. To have Gaddis speak live to your company, team or group, connect with him at