I met with a few business colleagues last week to share goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. One of my associates shared that she was looking for a new assistant. She had fired her previous employee because in her words she was a “95 percenter.” Obviously the term intrigued all of us so we asked for the definition. My colleague explained. “My assistant was actually pretty good. However, she just couldn’t complete the last five percent of a project or task.”
This 95 percent remark got me thinking. Where am I performing at 95 percent? Where is it easy in the sales profession to give 95 percent rather than 100 percent and what are the implications? Here are a few areas to think about.
- Business Development. Your goal is to make 10 outreaches a day, both prospecting and client calls. Life sets in and you complete 95 percent of the task. That doesn’t seem too bad until you do the math. 10 times 95 percent equals 9.5, a shortfall of only .5. However, multiply that number by five days a week, four weeks in a month and twelve months in a year. The number changes from .5 to 120 contacts not made. By applying the five percent rule, what existing relationships could have been deepened with further contact? What new lines of business could have been sold? What new opportunities could have been opened? Five percent adds up.
- Thank you notes. You’ve just closed a large contract because of a referral from a strategic alliance partner or client. You look at the clock and it’s the end of the day. You want to go home so you choose the 95 percent route. Instead of taking two minutes to craft a handwritten note, you shoot off a quick email of thanks.
- Finish the race and apply the five percent rule to pen a personal note of thanks. Since no one is doing it, your thoughtfulness will stand out.
- Selling skills. We work with clients on the “Take 10” strategy. Take 10 minutes every day to listen to a sales audio, read 10 pages of a self-improvement or sales book. Take 10 minutes to review your notes from sales training. There are 2700 minutes in a 45 hour week. The “Take 10” strategy is only .0003 percent of your week!
Okay, enough with the numbers. You get the idea. Apply your emotional self-awareness skills and ask yourself the hard question, “Where am I only giving 95 percent?”
Make it a goal to be in the 100 percent club this year. Small steps lead to big successes.