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Habits and Success

For a long time, Joe Girard was the "World’s Greatest Car Salesman".  His record has since been broken, but when I was managing a dealership he was the king. What always fascinated me was that he didn’t sell cars in a bubble.  He worked with other salespeople in a dealership. How come that store didn’t have a stable full of Joe Girards? Didn’t anyone mimic what he did?

If you think about successful employees and analyze why they are so successful, you’ll come up with some traits. They work hard. They follow the process.  I would argue that they are successful because they have mastered the habits that lead to success.

The word habit seems to have a negative connotation. That person has a drug habit or a gambling habit. We don’t talk enough about the good habits people can develop. Think about the power of these positive habits. Better yet, think about how you can develop positive habits in your employees and yourself.

This may date me, but when I was in high school I took typing.  I also took history classes. Ask me to recite the Presidents of the United States and I could probably get 60%. But put me in front of a computer and ask me to type, I can do it without thinking. Why? Because I memorized the Presidents, took a test, and quit. But I typed every day, and I still do.  It’s second nature now. 

In previous posts, we discussed that processes solve all operational issues. Your goal is to make these successful, proven processes to be second nature. How can you do this?

Begin by making a list of the habits you feel makes someone successful in a specific job role. This could include CRM usage and daily follow up. Try to identify anything that you preach to your people will make them successful.

Once you have this list, determine if these are daily, weekly, or monthly habits. How frequently do successful employees complete an activity? The more you can make daily, the better. But you may find some are not feasible to do daily. Break your list of habits down by daily, weekly, and monthly.

You also need a way to hold them accountable for completing the activity you want to become a habit.  I guess you could say that you, as a leader, need to develop the habit of checking in on the habit development of your team.  The HCM platform can make this easy.  You can assign daily tasks (that will develop habits) to each of your employees.

At the end of the day, good management is about activities, not results.  Manage the activities that lead to success and you will achieve the results you want. For example, rather than managing monthly car sales, focus on the activities that lead to car sales. Setting appointments, daily follow up, process consistency, etc.

Success isn’t rocket science. It’s about consistency in the daily activities that separate your rock stars from everyone else. The more you can make those daily activities become habits, the more success your team will achieve. 

Jennifer Bueckert

Structure is key! With a bit of flexibility 

Robert Niven

A monthly goal can not be reached in one day. This is why breaking the month down by day is so important. If your goal is to set 5 appointments and you set 4 you know immediately that tomorrow you need to set 6 appointments to make up for yesterday. It is easier to manage results on a daily basis than on a weekly and monthly basis.

Christopher Berglof

Habits are a nice reminder to people and I like how the higher levels end up having less habits's not because you don't need those's because at Level 4 they are really habits (you already do them without having to be reminded about them).

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