Systems. The Holy Grail of any business owner, salesperson, or individual who desires a more simple life. Systems enable us to get out from behind our desks and do what we do best, namely, connect with others, engage prospects, and take care of clients. But how effective are your systems? Is there a central authority or framework which manages them? Ladies and gentlemen, systems must be subdued, controlled, and coordinated. Your systems are here to serve you, not to occupy your time in maintaining them. All of us have a few aces up our sleeves, which by themselves get results (a particular script, your website, your mailers, etc.). But without an overall plan for maximizing the potential of each one, you’ll wind up having a stable of one-trick ponies vs. a herd of stallions. Which one would you rather ride into battle on?
What we need is infrastructure which is defined as “An underlying base or foundation especially for an organization or system” Usually, the term infrastructure applies to a country’s roads, airports, energy sources, sewage systems, communications, etc. However the term also applies to the connectivity of systems in the fields of IT, national defense, buildings, or anything else which contains multiple parts marshaled towards a common purpose. Without a solid foundation from which to operate , your business will be subject to the ebb and flow of the market, and therefore, so will your emotions. Indeed, what separates the good agents from the great agents are the ones who develop a sound infrastructure to fall back on when markets change or their personal lives are dealt a crushing blow. So where do you stand? Sit back and grade your infrastructure along 4 lines: Synergy, Simplicity, Synchronicity, and Stability. This article will address the principle of Synergy.
Synergy is defined as “when different entities cooperate advantageously for a final outcome”. Ancient rope makers discovered that when you weave two strands of fiber together, what results is a strand double the strength of one. However, three strands woven together produce a strand ten times the strength of one by itself. The symbol of Ancient Rome was a bundle of sticks tied together because snapping a twig over your knee is one thing, snapping a fistful of twigs over your knee is quite another. There is strength in numbers, but in order to have your strength expand exponentially, your systems have to pointing in the same direction, not merely operating parallel to one another. In short, your infrastructure should resemble steel cable, not building blocks.
What made the Romans great and allowed them to expand beyond the borders of Italy was the synergy of their infrastructure. Without its’ amazing road system, the Roman army couldn’t have been deployed quickly throughout the empire to quell revolts. However, revolts were uncommon because shortly after a city was conquered, the first thing to show up after the soldiers left were Roman engineers. People who had to dig their own toilets suddenly had running water which would carry away their waste, nourish crops, and easily proved hydration (vs. walking back and forth from a well). Suddenly, commerce, trade, and travel were much simpler and safer. As a result mere villages within the empire became cities almost overnight.
So what does synergy look like for today’s salesperson? First of all, your systems must compliment one another. If you have an assistant, he or she must enable you to be at more than one place at a time. They should have the intelligence and common sense to be able to handle incoming leads, or soothe angry customers until you can address the issue. If you’ve invested in having an awesome website, spend the money to have a professional photographer to display your listings on it. Synergy also demands structure. You must have a schedule. Resist the urge to interrupt what you’re doing to jump on a new lead. Give yourself 15 minutes in between tasks to regroup mentally before the next one. If you can do something within two minutes, do it immediately. Work out first thing in the a.m. Master the morning, master the day.
At Mastery Coaching we know that a team has to be on the same page, or you’ll have a bunch of individuals doing their best but feeling alone. Your systems are no different and require someone from the outside to critique their value and assist you in making a “team” out of your systems. Mike Tyson had a wonderfully integrated system of combinations and defensive skills. When he chose to rely on his lunging left hook and uppercut, he lost to a 40 to 1 underdog who had a 12” reach advantage and a jab like a telephone pole. Don’t be that guy or gal. You’re not lazy. You haven’t forgotten what made you great to begin with, and you’re certainly not a 40 to 1 underdog. But you have to stop relying on your power shots and one-trick ponies to carry the day. Don’t focus on your faults, but keep them in check by ensuring that they’re woven into your strengths. If you can do that, your Achilles heel(s) will disappear, and you will conquer.