Hi and welcome to the 3rd edition of SAM Moments™! To clarify, this is a free email meant to inspire and educate. We don’t want to bombard you with emails you don’t want, so this is the last time you will receive SAM Moments, unless you Opt IN. After that, you’ll have go to the SAM website to sign up.
One of my favorite stories is about Lions & Goals because I think it applies to every salesperson who ever walked the earth. I first read about in a book by John Maxwell called Leadership 101, but then I researched and confirmed it by watching a documentary by film-maker Errol Morris. Here it is:
Question: What does a Lion Tamer bring with him inside the ring?
Answer: A whip and a chair.
Question: The whip can startle the lion, but why does he bring the chair?
Answer: The Lion Tamer brandishes a chair at the enraged cat to confuse it and dissipate its anger.
Now, what does that have to do with Goals, let alone Activity Management?
Well, here’s why: The lion is biologically programmed to focus only on one thing at-a-time and then attack it. When the lion tamer holds up a chair, the big cat sees 4 legs and all of a sudden, he has 4 points of interest – the 4 legs of the chair – and doesn’t know which one to focus on! He loses his original train of thought and gets completely distracted, which dissipates its rage and he becomes docile. The lion has a one-track mind; It’s basically animal psychology.
Here’s my point: As human beings, we have the same tendency to get overwhelmed and distracted if we have too many things to focus on. I know that I do. And when it comes to activity management, too many targets may get us off track.
I know of one firm that manages and measures 10 activity categories, but the primary emphasis is on one category: getting 12 appointments per week. Another agency uses Points, which is a good way of bringing weighted-activities under one umbrella. Still another stresses “3-3’s” which stands for 3 Appointments Seen and 3 Scheduled, plus 3 Referrals per day.
It’s okay to manage and measure more than one metric or to have more than one goal, but only attack one-at-a-time. All statistics are important, but the narrower your focus, the greater the impact, just as lightning has more power than thunder. Remember the Lion Tamer or picture that scene in the movie called City Slickers when Billy Crystal asks Jack Palance for the “Secret of Life”? Holding up his index finger, Jack said, “The Secret of Life…is just one thing.” “What’s the one thing?”, he asks. “That’s what you have to figure out.”
Thanks again for joining me…stay focused this week!