My acquaintance Dr. Danial Amen wrote about his experience with ants. After a hard day at the office, he arrived home and found thousands of ants in his kitchen as he started to clean them up, an acronym developed in his mind – ANTs.?
Just like the infested kitchen, his patients’ brains were also overrun by ANTs. Yet ants in a different sense:?Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs).? And those thoughts were robbing them of their joy and stealing their happiness.
He started teaching his patients how to eliminate all of the ANTs because that’s what fuels negativity.
Every single time you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals.
Dr. Amen determined that every time you have a sad, hopeless, mad, cranky, unkind, judgmental, or helpless thought, your brain immediately releases chemicals that make your body feel awful. Your hands get cold and wet, your muscles get tense, your heart beats faster, and your breathing becomes shallower. Additionally, the activity in your frontal and temporal lobes decreases, which negatively affects your judgment, learning, memory.
The opposite is also true – whenever you have a happy, hopeful, loving, kind, or positive thought, your brain releases an entirely different set of chemicals. Your hands get warmer and dryer, your breathing becomes more profound and more regular, your muscles relax, your blood pressure decreases, and your brain works better.
So, if you want to eradicate negativity from your life, work on disciplining your mind to get rid of the ANTs and developing ANTeaters to patrol the streets of your account. (Side note: 2 of my sons our University of California (UCI) Anteaters!)??
Just as there are many species of ants in the world, there are different kinds of negative thought patterns (ANTs). Dr. Amen outlined a few we felt we all should learn to identify:
The masterful art of predicting the worst, even though you don’t have any evidence.
Where you arbitrarily believe that you know what someone else is thinking, even though they didn’t tell you. Many people do this, and more often than not, it gets them into trouble. It’s a significant reason why people have difficulty in relationships. I call it false projecting!
Thinking with words like should, must, ought, and have to. The words we use to talk to ourselves are significant. Guilt is a good motivator for change. Telling yourself, “I should go see my grandmother” rather than “I want to spend time with my grandmother,” only serves to make you feel negative.
Whenever you blame someone else for the problems in your life, you are a victim, and you can’t do anything to change it. Many of us play the blame game, but it rarely helps us. Stay away from blaming thoughts and take personal responsibility for changing the problems you have.
Calling yourself or someone else a derogatory name. This diminishes your ability to see situations clearly, and labels can be very harmful.
So now that you have met some of the ANTs that rob you of your happiness and peace of mind, what do you do about them?
Whenever you find yourself feeling mad, sad, nervous, or out-of-control, write down what you are thinking. Then identify which ANT species is infesting your mind and talk back to it.
Challenging negative thoughts (killing the ANTs) takes away their power and gives YOU control over your thoughts, moods, and behaviors.
The cool thing is we all get to choose how we play the game and learning how to kill the ANTs and develop an internal ANTeater is a great choice!?
Check out his book,? The Brain Warrior’s Way
The paradox is this: we need both uncertainty and certainty in our business and our lives. I’m sure you would agree – without a doubt – we are in uncertain times.
It seems at this moment in time; we have more uncertainty than certainty.
So how can we create a little more certainty?
Get Clear On What You Really Want?
- Create a picture of what it is that you truly want
- Does this excite you?
- Does it move you emotionally?
- Envision it, see how it makes you feel
- These steps help you regain balance and drive
Connect Emotionally With Your Why.
- Getting clear on the purpose of what you want
- You know you found it when your purpose resonates and moves you emotionally
- When you feel stuck or lost, two questions:
- “If I don’t do this, this is what it will cost me,” or
- “If I do this, then this is what I can gain.”
Make It Part Of Everyday!
- Create your daily action checklist and follow it
- What’s the ONE routine you must do every day to win the day?
- Like your P.E.D.S.
- What’s are the critical activities that move the needle?
- Marketing that creates NEW appointments
- Building and maintaining relationships
- Servicing existing clients and prospects
- Anticipating and solving problems BEFORE they arise
- Completing that project
- Place it all in your calendar and protect your time blocks
Have you ever worked backward from Friday? At the end of the week, you are sitting down and looking back… what would make this week great? Vision that and block your calendar accordingly. I like to say work backward from yes!
If you show up for the day with no structure in your calendar and decide to do “urgent” tasks like returning calls and texts and checking Facebook, those activities will expand and eat up all the time you hoped to devote to more “important” activities. You will end the day unfulfilled and have more uncertainty.
We know that work will expand to the time you give it! So assign time blocks to every task. And remember DONE is better than PERFECT every time!
The best way I’ve found to make the “important” significant – and create more certainty in all that you do – is to prioritize them and build them into your calendar first.
Are you tired of not getting what you want? If so, you might want to read this?article about?Mario Lemieux.
What is your next step?
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey
Whether you have been in the business 70 days or 7 years, I often hear the same questions:
- What do I do now?
- My lead generation is inconsistent!
- How do I get better organized?
- What’s my purpose?
So, here are a few suggestions to consider as you start this week:
First, who do you want to be 90 days from now?
It all starts with deciding what you want to achieve in the next three months. Have you created very clear, specific, measurable, and trackable goals? Are they up and visual as a constant reminder?
My research shows there are three types of goals:
- Outcome goals – I want to be #1
- Performance goals – I’ll run the race in 8 minutes or less
- Process goals – I’ll connect with 10 people a day
Process goals win the day. Over 650 studies in goal achievement show that people who break their goals down to a daily process achieve the goal faster and more consistently.
Action #1:?Break your goals down to daily actions
Second, understand where the business comes from.
The National Association of REALTORS? conducted a survey that shows nearly 70% of consumers FIND you from a friend, family, referral or past business relationship. And nearly 70% CHOOSE you based on your perceived reputation, trustworthiness and results. These facts have significant implications for your personal branding and direct response marketing activities.
It’s shocking how many clients I have acquired through the years — just because I made a call or sent a message.
According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent, but the likelihood of selling to an existing client is 60 to 70 percent. It’s much cheaper and easier to retain a client than to go prospecting for a new one. Studies show 90% of consumers would do business again with their?REALTOR? yet only 25% do. Why? Because you suck – no systems in place – at staying in touch and building long term relationships with past clients.
Action #2: Stay in touch at least 4X per year, build relationships and the sales & referrals will follow.
Third, track everything in a database to stay organized
Make it a habit to get contact information from every person you meet. Your goal is to move folks you meet from your outer circle to your inner circle. Create a system – like this.
If you are buying a new car, get the salesperson’s card. Ask your bartender or server for their information when you go out. Every person who gives you their contact information should be placed into your database and contacted – a note; text; card; social media engagement – least 8 times in the first 8 weeks of meeting. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet. It should include the following
- Full name
- Email address
- Mobile phone number
- Preferred social media handles
- Your Notes
In your notes section, you will want to write in things like what the potential client is interested in, first and last time you corresponded with them and how you met them. Relationships matter and relationships create referrals in a personal service business like real estate sales.
Action #3: Take one step to get better organized
Fourth, be like Fred.
Fred Shea was a postal carrier from my home state of Colorado. Apart from the fact that he personally welcomed every new resident, he appeared unremarkable. Yet, a book has been written about him and thousands have been taught his “system” to drive purpose in their life and their business.
Fred had a purpose.
Fred demonstrated you don’t need a promotion; you don’t need anything but creativity to reinvent yourself and add value to yourself and others.
Fred the Postman was quite remarkable in attitude with a warmth and sincerity that was apparent immediately. And his dedication to serving his customers made him extraordinary.
Daily Fred put into practice the principles that became the foundation for the best-selling book,?The Fred Factor, namely that:
- Everyone makes a difference,
- Success is built on relationships,
- You must create value for others, and;
- Reinvent yourself on a regular basis.
Fred the Postman taught me that by bringing passion into our work and life we can all turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Action #4: Be like Fred!
As we wrap up, I have no control over what you do with this information – nor do I want that control. Yet the gift of what I shared today, has helped me in so many ways, and I trust this gift will help you too. So, until we meet again may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
Bonus Action #5: Accountability… who is your?accountability partner??
As we celebrate Memorial Day, as we honor those who have fallen, we are reminded that freedom isn’t free. One of my traditions about this time each year is watching “Taking Chance.” A touching story about one marine escorting a fellow marine on his final trip home.
Another movie came to mind: “Rudy.” Rudy is a true story about persistence, tenacity, grit, and football. A football game isn’t won on the field. The game is won in the days, weeks, and even months leading up to the actual game. The game is won in preparation. Watching films of previous games, memorizing plays, hitting the gym, eating correctly, and even getting enough sleep.
Professional real estate sales is no different.
I’ve been spending some time with our top 1% documenting what they do. Curious?
Here are the top six things our top 1% do consistently:
- They do their research & marketing.
- They’re genuinely interested in and understand others’ personality style.
- They’re prepared for anything, especially the objections and most frequently asked questions.
- They leave their ego in the car.
- They are a master of managing expectations.
- They debrief and learn from every situation.
Research and Marketing
We know from the National Association of REALTORS? that 63% of consumers find us through a referral from a friend or a past business relationship. And 68% of consumers choose us based on our perceived trustworthiness, experience, and reputation.
Top producers know these numbers and invest their time, energy, and effort into where the business is most likely to be generated.
What we have observed from top producers to those struggling is glaring. Top producers genuinely care about the relationship while those struggling care about making a buck.
We use a unique system called B.A.N.K. to pinpoint anyone’s personality in nanoseconds. It’s fun, engaging, and creates instant rapport. Crack your code now, it’s easy: www.jparcode.com
This high emotional intelligence approach leverages the best assessment tools, high-energy training, and cutting-edge technology to maximize results.
Leave Nothing To Chance
Our top performers rehearse or role-play frequently; many do this every day! Here are some tips I picked up:
- Make a list of every question, concern, or objection that your prospect might bring up. Create a list of everything that could go wrong.
- Develop a clear, logical, and persuasive response to every possible question, concern, and objection.
- Think of how you can get ahead of these circumstances by using stories and anecdotes, case studies and testimonials, statistics, and facts.
- Have your information, ideas, and documentation well organized so you can reference the appropriate notes and materials at any time.
Gary Vaynerchuk put it well: “When you care more about the other person than you care about hitting your quota – when you make that shift – you go into the Jedi-ness of becoming a great salesperson.”
The professional real estate salesperson with a massive ego can easily mistake refusal with rejection. When you make this mistake, it’s all too easy to take it personally. The truth? Far more people will say no than say yes.
So, how do you deal with this?
Our top 1% have learned not to internalize rejection. Top performers exert power over their emotions and know this is a critical skill to master.
As the Chief Executive of a large organization, I get the problems that others have not solved. And literally, I’ve been tracking these and guess what – they all have a common root. Uneven expectations!
Many things have to happen, often in a specific sequence, before a transaction closes. Do you know what these things are? Do you know where you’re at in the process with each client, prospect, and partner?
- Seek to understand what has come before each step
- Don’t assume everyone knows what will happen next
- Anticipate needs before others
- Communicate constantly and clearly
- Under-promise and over-deliver
Debriefing is a structured learning process designed to evolve plans while they’re being executed continuously. It originated in the military as a way to learn quickly in rapidly changing situations and to address mistakes or changes in the field. Infact I shared this document with my team – glad to be here – after the Blue Angels flew over Dallas.
In business, debriefing has been widely documented as critical to accelerating projects, innovating novel approaches, and hitting challenging objectives. It also brings a team together, strengthens relationships, and fosters team learning.
Our top producers have this concept mastered and execute this discipline more often than others. As such, these high performing teams are more tight-knit than those who don’t.
The game is won or lost way before you step on the playing field. So, before you play in sales again, do your research, be genuinely interested in others, be prepared for anything, leave your ego in the car and become a master of managing expectations. Finally – just like the Blue Angels – debrief and learn from every situation.
Not sure about you, for me, it is overwhelming to see how the world has come together in this crisis. As McChensey, Covey, and Huling wrote so well in the “4 Disciplines of Execution,” when you have “singularity of focus,” the trivial gets minimized.
Yet, for me, it’s also a paradox, the dichotomy of our lives right now as we push forward in adapting to new work routines, new ways of connecting, and new ways of contributing to our communities. At the same time, we watch first responders, doctors, nurses, and even the local grocery store staff pour their hearts each day into serving others. It’s been inspiring to see the greatness in humanity.
This week at JPAR, we started a free series called the 8 AM club. The intention was to help our associates, staff, and business partners adapt to new routines, new ways of working and delivering empowering messages to help adapt during this time of transition.
On Monday, Seth Denson shared the power of a solid foundation. “Did You Build It Right?”
Tuesday, Tanya Waymire shared “How You Choose To Show Up Is Everything.”
Wednesday, Jose Ruiz shared the science of “Being Intentional.”
Thursday Germaine Gaspard shared a powerful message about: “Know This: What You Are Becoming Is What You Are Doing.”
Friday, we capped off the week with Sylvia Marusk, who shared: “Stress – the Silent Killer.” Getting Out Of The Stress Response & Getting Into Restore & Rest.
The series is just one step we are taking to ensure our JPAR associates, staff, and partners don’t just survive – they thrive.
Next week’s theme? How to deal with things when they go out of control.
If you don’t like it, change it.
If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it!
It seems we are all spending a lot more time sharing, talking, and communicating on video platforms and social media. This virus event will change us in ways we’ve never imagined. Yet here’s what I know – we are all in it together.
As I was thinking, just a few weeks ago, most of us would say, “we don’t have the time!”
Time is currency.
And now we have all the time in the world. What will you do with it?
Here are a few action items to consider:
Throw out the OLD rules
One of my favorite movies – Apollo 13 – has a scene where ground control is calling up a new procedure for the astronauts. “Aquarius this is Houston, we’d like you to rip the cover off your flight plan!”
Your 2020 business plan just changed, and I’d like you to rip the virtual cover off your plan and write a new procedure.
At JPAR, we have written a 21-question digital business review, now is the time to dig into that review and rewrite the plan.
First, make sure your database is ready to support you and your growth. My surveys show 50% still work off sticky notes and spreadsheets… now is the time to get organized.
Second, find a market that fits your selling style. Then, find an area ready for your focus. Hyperlocal expertise will never be more important. Be a specialist, not a generalist.
Third, leverage video. A bad video is better than no video. Consistency and value are key.
Fourth, social media. Be helpful. It does not need to all be about business.
Fifth now is not the time for marketing as usual.
- Leverage the free resources at KCM and NARConsider starting a FB group for your neighbors, moms’ group, guys groups.
- Host a weekly happy hour or weekly virtual meetups
- Send texts, calls, or ten handwritten notes a day – thinking of you, how about you doing, is there anything I can do to support you?
- Pause the door-knocking & flyer drop-offs
- Use FB groups as a way to be helpful not to sell yourself
- Turn off or update any automation
Build a solid ROUTINE
One size does not fit all! You’re probably tired of hearing the same old line… do these four things in the morning. The truth is my routine may or may not work for you.
There have been a lot of successful people over the centuries of human history. And if you look at just a few of them, they certainly don’t do the same things. But what they do have in common are daily routines, something that they do day in and day out, without fail.
The key is finding the routine that works for you.
In his book, “The Miracle Morning,” Hal Elrod outlines the science, system, and secrets of a powerful routine, even if you are not a morning person! One of the most powerful concepts I learned from Hal is to “set your intentions before bed!”
You know that feeling of connection when shared goals and interests bind us together? During this time, there has never been a greater need for connection, for services, for innovative solutions.
Wants and needs are all around you. We know the problem; can you provide the solution for your sphere of influence?
One example – a JPAR agent is featuring a virtual interview each day on Facebook with a local business owner that has a drive-through, delivery of drop off services.
Rely on EXPERTS to strengthen your voice
Separating charged emotions from facts and data is an essential skill these days. One of the best ways to amplify expertise and convey calm is to leverage other voices of authority.
One of the best is my good friend Steve Harney, Founder of Keeping Current Matters and, of course, our National Association Of REALTORS?.
And of course, we can all review reliable information from national sources such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
PASSION OVER PERSUASION
Do you find yourself getting mired in detail of this crisis? It is not uncommon – as I recommend above – to surround ourselves with technical experts and forget the power of human nature.
Crises are not solved with reason and data alone. We must never forget we are first and foremost humans with emotions. We have families and lives outside of deeply important work. When we lead with empathy, we demonstrate dedication and compassion for those we serve.
There you have it. Time is currency. And now that we all have some extra time, what will you do with it?
Throw out the old rules; build a new solid routine; rely on the experts to strengthen your voice and remember the most: your strategy matters and your passion rules!
A few weeks from now, you might be asked, “So, how are those New Year’s resolutions working out for you? The dream is that our goals and resolutions lead us to higher ground, to new horizons. They can give our eyes a focus, our mind an aim, and our strength a purpose. Without the positive pull forward of a goal, we could risk remaining forever stagnant, or even worse sucked into a backward spiral.
So why is it so hard to keep and reach some resolutions, some goals?
We have all felt the excitement that comes with setting a new goal, but then, as time progresses, excitement can morph into anxiety. This is because we are facing the reality that we are so far from our goal and have no framework or strategy of how to get there.
So how do you overcome life’s hurdles and personal mental roadblocks to reach your BIG goals?
Well, first, a blinding flash of the obvious:?When you set goals for yourself, it is important that they motivate you: this means making sure that they are important to you, and that there is value in achieving them.
Motivation is the key to achieving goals. Set goals that relate to the high priorities in your life. If the goal is truly not important to you and you can’t tie it back to why it’s meaningful, your chances of success diminish. Yet wait, there’s more:
The reality is, there’s a SCIENCE to goal setting
In over 650 studies completed with over 50,000 participants, scientists analyzed what worked best when goal setting. Overall, individuals who focused on Process Goals had more success in reaching their goals than those who simply set Performance or Outcome Goals.
So, what is the difference between an outcome goal, a performance goal, and a process goal?
An outcome goal is one that isn’t really under your control. Instead, it’s based on outside circumstances. For example, if your goal is to the #1 selling agent in your market, that’s a goal that’s not only based on your numbers but also the numbers from other agents in your market too.
Performance goals are personal achievement goals. They are the building blocks that help you reach your outcome goal. A good performance goal example is to “beat my personal record of 21 homes sold in a year.
Process goals are completely under your control and are composed of the things you do on a daily basis like habits and routines. Think of these as the small steps you take to get to your performance and outcome goals every single day. An example of a process goal would be to “spend 60 minutes prospecting daily” or “40 minutes of cardio work.”
So, there you have it, the science behind more effective goal setting. Create a goal that is important to you and one you can be reminded frequently as to why you are pursuing it. Then, break those outcome goals down to the daily activities, the daily processes. Now your likelihood of achievement is dramatically improved.
See if one on one coaching is right for you: www.jparcoaching.com