Contrary to what many of us have been told or heard – and maybe what we deep-down believe – building our aging in place services business, attracting new clients, and making sales is not a numbers game, at least not in the way that we normally think of it. It isn’t a law of averages situation where the more people we see and talk to, the more sales we will make – unless those contacts are measured, purposeful, and with people who are interested in having us help them.
There normally is not a direct cause and effect relationship between the number of people we see or speak with and the number of sales we make (the number of people who agree to have us them). Clearly, the more people we talk with the greater our chance of making sales – but it can’t be just any group of people. It isn’t a throw- mud-against-the-wall-and-see-what-will-stick situation. It isn’t a case of us making more and more presentations to whoever will sit still long enough to listen to us rather than looking for and finding people who are interested in hearing about what we do and then in having us help them.
For us to be successful, it’s about quality and not merely quantity. It’s also about intention – and the willingness and ability to willfully seek out and find people to interact with and then talk with about what we have to offer – regardless of their needs and the condition of their current home.
Numbers for numbers sake are a waste of time, talent, money, and expectations. Making a presentation to people without regard for what they are looking for in a solution to allow them to remain in their home or to accommodate the needs of someone living with them will not result in many sales. This is literally confusing activity for progress or achievement, thinking that by continually making presentations that sooner or later someone will say “yes” to our proposal. There is a much smarter way to go about this. We can talk with every person we see in a day’s time to introduce ourselves and begin a conversation, but only a few of them will be someone that we might want to set an appointment with to have a more serious discussion about how we can help them.
We may not need to physically make a presentation to as many people as we might think in order to build a successful business and have the cash flow and income we desire. We need to look at the average length of a job that we have described in our business model and determine how many we can start or maintain at one time. For instance, are we capable of starting one new job a day so that in a week’s time we may have 5 projects underway? Can we effectively manage and maintain this? Maybe our projects will be just a couple of days, or possibly they might run a couple of weeks or longer. That said, how many sales can we actually make and complete without hiring additional personnel or crews?
Put another way, assume that we can do just one project a week with the way our business staffing (including trade subcontractors and independent consultants) is constituted. If we wanted to be busy every single week, including holidays, we could serve no more than 52 clients in a year. It could be considerably fewer than this depending on the type of jobs, length of time to complete them, and personal time-off that we schedule into the equation. At that, we need to look at how many presentations on average we need to make to result in 52 new clients a year.
To help with lead generation, referrals from rehab centers, case managers, insurance adjusters, attorneys, former clients, and others will generally produce sales for us and thus reduce the number of people we need to meet on our own.
It is a numbers game of sorts, but not like we might normally think of it. We don’t need hundreds of people to speak with each year as long as we’re talking to the right ones. We people to meet and speak with, but we can help from referring professional and strategic partners to identify people we can serve. Let’s keep it in perspective and not feel that we aren’t talking with enough people to keep our business going. If we are reasonably busy and our clients are happy with how we are helping them, that likely is an optimum number of clients to be serving.