THE CHRISTMAS TREE FARM… the celebration of December 25 is usually supported by adding decorations to the home including the Christmas Tree. Years ago the tradition was to go into the forest and cut down a 6-8 foot pine tree, bring it home, and then decorate it in the main living area. As the popularity of this custom spread, the need for fresh new trees every year expanded dramatically. The solution became the Christmas Tree Farm. A simple concept…plant high volumes of seedlings and eight or 10 years later harvest them and sell them to the public. A great idea and it works very well. There is only one problem… you have to wait 8 to 10 years to harvest the crop before you can “take them to market”. If you decided to get into the “tree farming” business, you would need to have enough cash flow to carry you to the time when you’re first crop reaches maturity. In Sales there is a definite parallel to the Christmas Tree Farm dilemma.
Here is your ACTION STEP…the similar dilemma in Sales is that certain lead sources generate business faster than others. You need a balance when developing your various sources. It is critical to have some “Now Business” and some “Future Business”. How to build that balance?
1. The first step is to make sure that you recognize the need for pursuing more than one source of business on a regular basis, preferably daily. If you’re only going after one source then you are locked into the “cycle of return” for that type of source. Not wise.
2. Identify all of the sources of business that you are going to pursue.
3. Separate the sources into two categories… short-term and long-term. Don’t over complicate it. Do the “trees” grow fast or slow?
4. Build a plan that allows you to go after all these sources consistently. Schedule your approach so nothing gets neglected.
Examples of Short-Term Sources: just listed/just sold, FSBO’s, expireds, doorknocking, open houses, etc.
Examples of Long-Term Sources: Past Clients, Centers of Influence, geographic farming, mass flyer distribution, old leads, etc.
Of course there are exceptions to the above examples. Sometimes things happen much faster than expected and vice versa. Regardless, this is a good path to follow. Too many times Salespeople get focused on one particular source for an extended period and then end up having to wait for “the Christmas Trees to grow”. Plan your business so that the return on your time is both balanced and consistent and not concentrated on either short-term or long-term. No matter how you look at it, regular paychecks are better. NO Excuses.