Mike Marchev’s wit and wisdom will be filling in for Richard’s 365 Column this week – enjoy!
If you believe what I am about to remind you, and make it your business to do something about it, your future success will almost be guaranteed.
Not enough people know you’re alive.
This six word phrase should be considered “a keeper.” That means that if you learn nothing else from our time together, I want you to, at the very least, to believe the six words printed above. And if, by chance, a good number of people do know you are alive, I want you to memorize the next 11 words.
When you are out of sight, you are out of mind.
Regardless of your particular industry, it is a competitive jungle out there and the world is filling up with “noise” faster than you can tune in to Jerry Seinfeld reruns. The long and the short of it is we are inundated with information coming from any one of a thousand directions. What we have is not a failure to communicate, as was brought to our attention in the movie Cool Hand Luke. What we have … is too much communication.
The human body is an incredibly adaptive mechanism. To prevent from imploding or at the very least, short circuiting our brain waves, we all have developed the skill of tuning people (and things) out of our lives if they don’t immediately pertain to our daily interests. Therefore, if you are to make a point with a client, prospect, suspect or anybody else for that matter, it is your job to do what needs doing to enter their attention zone while maintaining a welcome presence. This is much easier said than done. Remember, the “Tune-Out” mechanism is a sophisticated, and highly effective device, honed to perfection after many years of practice and usage. If you want people’s attention, it is your job, and in many instances, your responsibility, to get and remain visible. But here comes the rub … you must do so without becoming an obnoxious, obtrusive bore.
Enter The Rule of Seven.
If you had to hang your hat on any one practice, this would be it. This rule implies that if you are serious about doing business with a prospect, it is necessary to contact them a minimum of seven times … in each 18-month period. Put a different way, this rule implies the necessity of persistent consistency.
It is used to circumvent a haphazard, hit-or-miss, hodgepodge feeble effort to grow your business by luck. If you can’t commit yourself to adhering to the Rule of Seven, don’t pretend that you will soon be enjoying a growing business. You won’t be. This is one of those rules you can take to the bank. That being said and understood, I want to add that there is nothing magical about the numbers seven or eighteen. The rule simply implies “consistency.” Ten attempts over twenty months is just as valid. The secret, or key, is to remain visible over time.
The 12 x 12 Rule.
This is another rule you may want to plug into your monthly game plan. It too was created to insure a consistent and persistent approach to establishing a working relationship with a defined group of targeted prospects. It also takes into consideration the deadly fact that when you are out of sight you are out of mind. And, now that I think of it, it respects any limitations you have on your time and takes “most” of your excuses out of the equation.
Here is how it works: You identify the top twelve prospects on your list with whom you want to do business with. Then, you commit to contact each one of these prospects once a month. Get it? 12 x 12.
Many of you may feel that this contradicts The Rule of Seven, but remember, it is the idea of consistency that is being highlighted. Remember … out of sight = out of mind.
Either approach – The Rule of Seven or The 12 x 12 Rule will pay dividends if you adopt it as your way to go to market.
Visibility remains your biggest problem. Consistency is the answer. And if it is true that when you are out of sight, you are out of mind, then these two rules will serve you well.
Mike Marchev , MBA, CTC, is an internationally recognized motivational speaker and author of the book Become the Exception. Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org .