When I was single I was on a quest to date a certain number of men. I wasn’t collecting notches on my bedpost or anything but I saw way too many of my friends meet, marry and then hate the wrong person. I instinctively knew that it was easy to get lulled into the perceived security of finding someone only to realize you were wrong and also out of options.
I won’t tell you the number I was trying to reach but I will defend my innocence by saying I didn’t sleep with them, most of them didn’t even score a goodnight kiss, but I believed in being open minded to meeting as many different people as possible. I had a formula and I stuck to it.
Several years later, as an entrepreneur a similar formula came into play. This time it was for getting clients. My husband and I were in real estate, had hired a business coach and were given a formula, and it worked. We quickly became top salespeople, but only when we followed the formula. Simply put, formulas work.
A lot of “experts” will tell you there is no such thing as a sales formula—they are wrong
They will say it’s about caring for your clients and about finding your passion. It is. But without clients you can’t do either of those things. So we’re back at how do you get enough clients to build your business so that you can be passionate about it and care for those clients? You stick to a formula that works.
You need to expose yourself to a wave of people in order to actually find that tiny trickle of people who are interested, and of those only a few drops will actually buy your product or service.
In my marketing and copywriting business I use the same concept I did with dating and the same formula I did in real estate. It works. I simply stick to a schedule and spend a certain amount of time every single day reaching out to a certain number of people.
Here’s the formula:
I’ve read about some internet entrepreneurs who reach out to 50 and even 100 a day though my target has always been 40 and it seems to work. Generally what happens is this: Of those 40, I’ll get about 5 leads. These are people who express some sort of interest or have questions or want further information. Then out of those five leads 1-2 will become a client. That doesn’t mean I get a client a day, because it averages out. Some days I’ll get 2 or 3 clients, some days none. Typically though I’ll end up with 3-5 clients a week.
So I’m not going to say this is the be-all end-all formula to success. A variety of factors go into success: Your marketing message, your product or services, your price, the demand for what you are offering. What this formula does is gets you in front of enough people in order to up your chances of success.
Schedule your day
In order to ensure you meet those 40 daily contacts stick to a schedule and make at least that period of your day non-negotiable. You absolutely have to do it and it can’t be rescheduled or interrupted. It may sound like that goes totally against designing a lifestyle that is free from corporate drudgery but that’s not the case. You can schedule into your day whatever pursuits you want that make it worthwhile so long as everything is scheduled.
To give you an idea here is a sample of my schedule:
6:30 a.m.-6:40 a.m. check and answer email
6:40 to 7:30 a.m. writing for my blog plus outline any projects for later
7:30 a.m. 9 a.m. Personal
9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Check/respond to emails
10 a.m. to noon prospecting for new clients either online or offline
Noon to 12:15 p.m. check respond to emails
12:15p.m. to 1 p.m. lunch/workout
1:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. work on projects
3-3:30 p.m. Personal
3:30-3:45 p.m. check/respond to emails
3:45-9:30 p.m. family time
9:30 p.m.-10 p.m. finish any projects
This is one of my stricter schedules. I have a more lenient one I will substitute during holidays, vacations or when we have company. And of course I occasionally say “screw the schedule” and go wine tasting that day instead.
You have to hold yourself accountable
What keeps me in line is tracking. You track your income and expenses but if you don’t track your efforts at building that success you will inevitably feel like you are doing a lot of work and putting in a lot of effort but not making any progress in your business. When you track the number of people you actually reach out to each day you’d be surprised at how little that number is if you don’t have a target in mind.
If it turns out I don’t make my numbers on a certain day I write that down and at the end of the week I see if the numbers worked out overall. I’m not going to fret reaching out to an average of 37 and not 40 people a day but if those numbers start dropping and my business does too, then it’s easy for me to identify the reason. If I’m on track and my numbers drop or aren’t bringing me business then perhaps it’s my marketing message. Either way, tracking helps me to narrow in on the cause of slow sales.
Sticking to a formula may sound cold and calculated but it’s an important tool to keeping you focused on your goal and keeping a steady stream of business. You may be a super hero at what you do but if no one knows it you’ll remain a secret superhero—and a poor one to boot. Expose your business to a consistent number of people (even when you are making sales) and you’ll soon be in the happy position of having more clients than you can handle.