Want. It’s a powerful feeling. One of my close friends and I have a running joke that usually is brought out during a sporting event, but it can be used in any situation. Example. I was at the Farmers Insurance Open this January and was perched high above the 18th green. The leader, Jon Rahm, was just over the green on this par 5 in two. He lines up this 61 foot bender and buries it for an eagle on the 72nd hole to shoot a 30 on the back, and subsequently seal his first win on the PGA tour by 3 strokes.
I text my friend who is 3000 miles away on another coast, because I know he is watching at home, and all I say is “Jon Rahm!” His reply, “He wanted it”.
We apply it to everything. The first time my kids crawled or walked, “They wanted it”. The first time I asked my wife out on a date. “I wanted it”. The exercise I choose to do every week. “I wanted it”. The chocolate I eat after I exercise, “I wanted it”. The connections I keep to people who are close to me I do it because “I wanted it.” The work I put into all facets of my business. “I wanted it”.
Want. It kind of flies under the radar these days. Other buzzwords have taken over the business world like, “grind”, or “focus” or “drive” or “hustle”. These are all important traits for a successful entrepreneur to posses, but I think the “want” to do those things comes first. You have to want to hustle, or grind or focus or find the drive.
Somewhere early in my career when I absolutely needed to be writing business just to pay bills and eat, I was very aggressive with chasing prospects. Anyone who told me they wanted a quote would hear from me until they told me “No” or they bought insurance from me. I hounded one poor woman every single day for a month because she told me that she wanted a quote. If you open the door like that for a salesperson, a good sales person is going to chase. She never told me “no” or that she wanted to buy, so I kept after her. She eventually answered and told me to leave her alone, and then I did.
It was a good lesson for me. I felt bad that I made her uncomfortable, but c’mon, maybe she was out of the country for a month. On a side note, don’t ask a salesperson for a quote if you don’t really want one and then get mad at them for following up when you ignore them.
My goal moving forward was to be more tactical. I put together a sort of chasing schedule.
- Day 1. Call. If no answer leave a message
- Day 3. Email. Follow up with a short email.
- Day 5. Call. Call to make sure they got your email and explain that sometimes my email goes to junk mail
- Day 7. Call.
After that you have to play it by ear, but don’t ever stop. It can eventually just be two calls a year. I just closed two deals this month that I worked on for over two years. I looked back on the first email I sent this client introducing myself and it was 26 months ago and I sent 17 emails over the course of that time. The other was a client of mine who was flat out declined for life insurance. We determined why, and when we could reapply with no promise of the policy being issued. We scheduled it out, followed up and issued the policy two years later. I wanted those.
Those polices weren’t even that big. I chase everything though. If I didn’t go after business the way I do, my business would be 25% smaller than it is today. I know it would.
The numbers can vary based on the study, but a sales generally happens between the 5th and 7th ask. Why would you stop at 1 or 2?
The work I put into my business I put in because I want to. I wanted to start blogging because after 13 years, I felt like I have something to contribute. I wanted to start a podcast because it sounded fun and I wanted to see if I could actually do it. I wanted to improve some things about me because I was causing difficulty at certain times to people who are important to me. So I put the work in. I read, I studied, I reflected and have made some positive changes that have been incredibly helpful.
I read Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why” recently and the title says it all. The book obviously is about drilling way down to determine your why. Why do you do anything that you do? I think an equally important question would be what do you want? Followed up with, why do you want it?
What is your want?