Saturday, September 18, 2010

Working Backwards Towards Progress

We each have a long-term plan, right?

Mine is a 3-year plan, to be taking in a modest revenue of $10,000 per month three years from now.

Your 3-year plan is _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I work backwards:

After two years I might expect $7,000 per month and after one year $4,000 per month. Attainable (and I hope exceedable!)

About that first year: After 12 months I expect to be raking in $4,000 per month. Nothing in the first three months, perhaps $1,000 in the fourth month, $2,000 in the fifth month, and so on. If I were to plot a chart there’s be a curve, sloping upwards.

In terms of paying clients, that might be re-written as “No paying clients in the first 3 months, 1 paying client after 4 months, 2 paying clients after 5 months” and so on.

Now we all know our conversion rate and we have all been measuring our activities, right?

I know that I have.

I record (BillT) the time spent each day on the phones and preparing data for the phones.

I know the new clients, because I cut invoices for them; I know when they arrive because I record the time I spend on their projects (there’s BillT again!).

I know how many people I engage in a face-to-face telephone conversation (not voice-mail), and I know how many times I dial a number an leave a voice mail, and how many times I dial and decide NOT to leave a voice-mail.

A lot of work? Not really. I use a simple data base table for my contact management, and clickable buttons record the date/time and event “Got vm”, “Left vm”, so it’s easy to produce a statistical report of how many voice-mails took place in any month for any contact.

Use a child’s abacus to count your dial-out efforts; use beans in a bowl to record live conversations.

Your paper diary (Grand & Toy or Staples) records on-site and downtown meetings with prospects.

It’s all there, you see, and when you keep track of it you can see a pattern emerging from the theory.

The THEORY is that for every 10 prospects harvested, one will result in a meeting, and for every ten meetings, one will result in revenue this year.

Measuring my efforts tells me how close my theory is to the truth, and whether I need to spend less time on the phones, or change my voice-mail strategy, or spend more time on the phones, or be even more pushy about a meeting.

Talk to Me !

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