We get caught up doing things extremely well that should have never been done in the first place. This brings up the difference between “effective” and “efficient.” Efficient means doing things right. Effective, on the other hand, is doing the right things. If we’re going to drop the ball, we don’t want to drop it any of the key business areas. You are only as strong as your weakest link. It’s also the weakest link that determines your income and holds you back.
If we put “Selling Professional Services” under the microscope, you’ll find there are only a few key skill sets one needs to excel in which determine your level of success. It’s similar to the Pareto Principle, more commonly known as the 80-20 Rule. The Pareto Principle says 20 percent of the activities in our day produce 80% of our results. Out of all the things you do everyday, there are only a handful that are absolutely vital to master.
I was earning over $1 million dollars a year as a financial advisor at the ripe old age of 21. When I was asked to start speaking, sharing how I did it, I honestly had to step back and examine what I did. It just came natural to me. I found there were certain things that I did very well. There were plenty of things I did average, and many things that I didn’t do well at all. The key is to make sure the areas you excel in are the 20 percent of your activities that account for 80 percent of your results. It’s interesting to see so many professionals focus on turning their weaknesses into strengths. I find that to be virtually impossible. I could spend the next 20 years focused on turning my weaknesses into strengths and at the end of 20 years, I’m completely frustrated, but I’ve got some really strong weaknesses. I decided to focus on the majors, the things I did really well, and delegate everything else.
Skill Number One Identifying The Right Prospects
If you try to be all things to all people, you become everything to nobody. Peter Drucker said, “Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principle of effectiveness is violated as constantly today as the basic principle of concentration.” I remember sitting in my yard as a little boy with a magnifying glass and a pile of leaves. Nothing happened until I harnessed that energy of the sun and when it was concentrated on a single spot, it wasn’t long before the leaves caught on fire. It’s the same with prospecting.
You’ve got to have the right offering for the right prospects, at the right time and convey it with the right message. The first key is to make sure you’re talking to the right prospects. It’s the single most important decision that directly affects our income down the road. If you want a schoolteacher’s income, talk to schoolteachers. If you want a millionaire’s income, prospect millionaires.