What Is Dollar Productive Activity?
The number one resource you have – not just in your real estate sales career, but in your life – is time. Each week you get another 168 hours to do with whatever you’d like. So how do you invest that time wisely?
As property sales expert Michael Sheargold points out, it’s not how many hours you put in, it’s what you put into those hours. Shrewd investment is just as key in time management as it is in buying property. Do your day-to-day activities offer a return on your time investment? It’s time to talk dollar productive activity – one of the key lessons Michael Sheargold delivers in the LEAP Academy’s Selling The Invisible Course.
What is dollar productive activity?
A dollar productive activity is any effort that could be considered good for your bottom line. We’re talking those important client facing activities that advance the sales process – the emails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings that turn leads into prospects into clients, as well as all the peripheral work that allows them to happen.
Admittedly that’s a broad and vague definition, so let’s break it down further. For anyone in project marketing or sales, dollar productive activities, and the dividends they pay, can be thought of as long-, medium- and short-term, or monthly, weekly and daily activities in real time scales.
- Long-term (monthly): These are your big picture goals. I’d like to sell X number of properties this month.
- Medium-term (weekly): These are the steps that will allow you to reach your goals. I’d like to get this client across the line, and I’d like to meet with these three prospects to sell this project.
- Short-term (daily): These are the very specific tasks that will allow you to achieve your medium-term weekly goals, and ultimately your monthly goals. Your short-term, daily dollar productive activities are by far the most important, and are also the most easily ignored.
These activities can be identified by asking yourself a couple of questions
- What are the key things I want to achieve in [this timeframe] from a business point of view?
- What are the key things I want to achieve in [this timeframe] from a personal point of view?
The importance of daily planning
A lot of project sales and marketing professionals don’t do daily planning. But the best ones do, and they do it well. Daily planning doesn’t mean that you’ve got a daily planner that automatically rolls over from one day to the next. Daily planning is sitting down every night, like clockwork, and asking yourself this question:
What do I have to do tomorrow to be as successful as I can possibly be?
The answer should be formed into a to-do list. Electronic, pen and paper – it doesn’t matter. By forming your list the night before, you’re going to walk into tomorrow energised and with laser-like focus.
Always start items on your to-do list with an action word. Call this person. Advance this discussion. Gain agreement on this sticking point. Follow up with this client. Action words make you more productive by putting you in the right headspace.
Label your to-do list items as:
- A – I must do this today. It’s critical for my success.
- B – I’d like to do this today, but it’s not as critical.
This removes the temptation of starting you day by doing the little (and easy) things first, which have a tendency to snowball into serious timewasters. Instead, do the critical things first – the ones that will make the biggest difference to your success.
Dealing with mind chatter
There is an exception to this prioritisation rule which Sheargold calls ‘worst first’. We’ve all been there – you’ve got a task that you’re dreading, and you find that it is sitting in your subconscious, festering away, causing what Sheargold terms mind chatter.
Even if you’ve labelled this item as a B – not as critical to your success – the fact that it is distracting you, even subconsciously, from the rest of your work means that it should be dealt with as soon as possible. ‘Worst first’ is about ripping the Band-Aid off, so you can focus entirely on those activities that will truly push you forward.
And rest assured, what you’ve labelled ‘worst’ will never be as bad as you think it will be, particularly if it’s dealt with quickly.
The 80/20 rule
If their entire work day was recorded, a surprising number of project sales professionals would find that they spend 20% of their time on dollar productive activities, and 80% on wasteful administration, procrastination, and general goofing around. The very best, however, will flip that number on its head.
Look over your own shoulder and analyse your current work day. How much of it do you spend on dollar productive activities? If you want to be the best you need to be aiming for 80%, and using the remaining 20% as down time; recharging your batteries by having a non-work chat or doing less taxing tasks.
Being dollar productive is simply a matter of planning and prioritisation. It doesn’t take skill or expertise, just drive and discipline. Have you got what it takes?This is an excerpt from LEAP Academy’s Selling The Invisible course, presented by Michael Sheargold. If you’re looking to develop your project sales and marketing skill set, this course is full of strategies and insights designed to help you do just that. Find out more here.