FAQ #7: Momentum

Oct 03, 2013

(From the Questions I’m Asked the Most!) By Mike Pallin, President – The Floyd Wickman Program

Every time I teach a Floyd Wickman Program, somewhere around Session Five someone in leadership remarks, "Hey, the market's picked up," and I smile inwardly. Because I know that the market hasn't picked up. The activity level of the agents in the program has picked up, and that has had a spillover effect back in the office, even with the agents who are not in the program.

It's the very definition of momentum. When activity level goes up, so does enthusiasm, teamwork and production.  It's contagious.

When our clients see their agents coming together, singing fight songs, reciting affirmations, applauding their teammates, cheering for successes, lifting each other up, they say, "Hey, I like this momentum. How do I keep it going after graduation?"

That's the tricky thing about momentum. It's a lot harder to get it started than it is to maintain it. But it's even easier to let it slip away.

Aside from the obvious production increase, momentum may be the most important benefit from participating in a Floyd Wickman Program. We get momentum going. I think our clients recognize it when they see it, and want to capitalize on it rather than lose it.

All of which leads us to Frequently Asked Question #7 – “How do I keep it going after the program?”

There is a very simple answer, but it's kind of radical in this era of the 1099 independent contractor mentality. So if you have a weak heart, get out your nitro pills and take a calming breath. OK, I'm kidding about the pills part. But I have to preface this answer with a disclaimer, because there is a huge difference between a simple solution and one that's easy to implement.

There is a gigantic obstacle to implementing the simple solution to maintaining momentum. It's called tradition. Or more precisely, a lack of tradition.

Remember, back in the day when we had brick and mortar offices with meeting space and weekly mandatory office meetings?  What is it like now? None of the above. No meeting space. No meetings. And for sure, nothing is mandatory. Weekly office meetings are a tradition that has all but disappeared.

You want to keep momentum going? Bring that tradition back, but 'Wickmanize' it.

The simple answer to keeping the momentum going is to do what we do in the program to get momentum going. Floyd calls it the Team Huddle. We do it in the first hour of every session of every program.

Picture this. It’s Monday morning at 9 am. Your team is there, on time, and dressed for business. Is that such a stretch? What else are they doing at 9am Monday morning that could possibly be more important?

The objection to Monday morning 9 am with everybody in attendance is, "But Mike --I can't get my agents to show up for meetings or training or events now, even when I offer food!"

The 'Wickmanized' mentality is, "Start with the ones who do show up and build momentum from there."

Some of those who don't show up will want to get in on it once momentum starts building (or rebuilding.) Some will join in once they see it's going to be safe and worth their while. (Not everyone is willing to sail on the Nina.) And some will join in because they don't want to miss out on what's happening.

For those who never join, or start and drop out, you will learn something about them that will help you manage. Sales organizations that flourish are not filled with loners, recluses and hermits.

Start your meeting the way Floyd starts each session - with a pep talk. Everyone needs a little encouragement. Some good news. Appreciation. Just enough rah-rah to reconnect. Three minutes max.

Then turn it over to your teams. The best teams are between 8 and 12 people. Fewer than 8 is not enough to avoid statistical anomalies, like everybody doing all zeroes for a whole week. And more than 12 takes too long to give everyone a chance to report and interact.

Have each team elect a leader, whose job is to collect what we call SMART Numbers and report them to you. Have each team elect a Director of Morale (aka cheerleader) to keep the team huddle positive. Team identity is important, and adds a little fun. Team B frequently ends up calling itself The Killer B's! Most teams come up with a team cheer.

The SMART Number reporting process is REALLY important. Keep it simple when it comes to tracking activity and results. You can easily overdo it here. Track just a few critical activities and their direct results, because when everything is important, nothing is important.

For activity, we track qualifying conversations, leads generated and appointments. For direct results we track listings obtained and contacts accepted (either sales or sold listings.) Being able to see ratios is a great troubleshooting tool as a manager. Floyd's rule of thumb is, "The basics never change, but your ratios will." What changes ratios? Market conditions. Skill levels. Seasonality.

The leader of the team should have a tracking sheet with team member's names down the left hand side, and the activity and results categories across the top. The leader asks each person, one at a time, to report his/her number in each category to the team. If it is a zero, everyone on the team gives them one simultaneous clap. If the number is 1 or more, everyone on the team applauds and cheers.

"OK, Bill. This week, how many listings?" Bill says, "Zero." One clap. "How many sales?" Bill says, "Two!" Wild applause. Cheers. Back pats. Attaboys.

What is the net effect of everyone on the team hearing what everyone else is doing? Accountability. Focus. Awareness. Motivation.

What is the net effect of everyone on the team applauding and encouraging everyone else for effort and results? Teamwork. Enthusiasm. Camaraderie. Esprit de Corps. Pride.

In a word, momentum.

As they are in their team huddles, check to make sure everyone has their SMART Week planned: appointments and prospecting time blocked out in advance; color coded for balance; and their top 5 things to do today written out. It's THE way to get the week off to a purposeful, organized start. Remember the old management maxim, "Your people are more likely to do what you inspect than what you expect."

Once all the individual numbers are reported, the leaders total up their team numbers and report them to you in front of the other teams. What happens? Comparison and competition.

Divide the total results by the # of people on the team to get per person production average. Is the team average going up or down week to week? Which team is most improved? Which team has the best per person production? Which team has the most enthusiasm? We award traveling trophies for each. Occasionally one team will challenge another to a one week competition. Most listing appointments per person wins, for instance.

More momentum.

Take an hour to do all this. It's only one hour out of 168 a week. 6/10ths of 1% of a week's time.

You will have fun. They will have fun. Why do you suppose it is that in over thirty years of Floyd Wickman Programs, production ALWAYS goes up? Not once has it gone down or stayed the same. Always up.

Because, "A group of people working together as a team toward a common goal, will always produce more than a group of people working as individuals."

Momentum. Want to get it going? Keep it going? Now you know.

Want to learn more about building momentum in YOUR office?  Call us today at 1-800-910-5351 ext 804! 

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