Every agent or businessperson sets big scary goals for their business, but many do not know that accountability is the key to achieving them.
You must create accountability around the activities that will move your business forward because those activities influence your objectives, and those objectives lead you to your goals.
You can only control the activities. This is where it all starts. A lot of people will want to jump right to the objectives, or even worse, the results. This is the most common mistake.
I use an accountability playbook to help me master the commitments I’ve made and build external practices that become internal beliefs.
The following six steps will help you develop your own accountability playbook and move your business forward in ways you never dreamed possible.
1. Find a partner who has a common goal
Your accountability partnership should be centered around a common goal that you and your partner share, because if you don’t share a common end-goal, you won’t be able to push each other toward the objective.
If you’re building accountability around the listings taken, for example, find a partner who has the same desire. If it is around the number of appointments you will go on, make sure it is mutual. You get the idea.
2. Create a regular cadence of accountability with your partner
Whether you communicate by phone or text message, you must engage regularly with your accountability partner. That means you must add it to your calendar, because if it isn’t on your calendar, it won’t be a priority, and it will not happen.
For about the past seven months, my accountability partner and I have scheduled three calls a week, lasting about 15 minutes each. I’ve also been part of an accountability group that began with a simple 5 a.m. check-in each morning to ensure that we were all out of bed.
These calls happen at the same time, every week, without exception. Even if you are short on time, jump on the call, state the progress and hang up. The regular check-in is critical because it monitors your progress.
3. Keep your communication focused on your progress
Your communication should be centered around the progress you’re making toward your goals and the areas you need to improve. Avoid letting your conversations be simple check-ins, or even complaint sessions, and keep your meetings laser-focused on results and progress. Nobody wants the check-in call when it is time to talk about business.
If you want to talk about non-work-related things, schedule a phone call after the workday in a separate time block that can be dedicated to that purpose. This is accountability time!
4. Build a system to track your progress
Whether you use a shared spreadsheet or a numbers tracker, you must have a way to measure your progress, because what you track and measure always improves. When you monitor and evaluate your progress, you create the possibility for hockey-stick improvement, so a tracking component is critical to accountability.
Your KPIs, or key performance indicators, will move the needle more than anything else in your business. These are the lead indicators that influence your objectives. Hitting those objectives creates the results. It is the same sales cycle over and over again. Focus on the KPIs and what you can control.
5. Push your partner — and expect your partner to push you, too
Accountability partnerships work best when the partners challenge each other. Successful partners understand that if the other person fails, it means they’ve failed, too.
Athletes often say that their best coaches were the ones who pushed them the hardest. If you aren’t willing to accept honest, sometimes uncomfortable, feedback, are you really pushing yourself to greatness? After all, greatness is a choice.
6. Evaluate yourself on a weekly basis
You are the ultimate source of everything that happens within your business, and taking ownership of your actions will help you build internal accountability. Conduct a weekly self-evaluation meeting to figure out what went right and what went wrong each week.
To do that, use this 5-point meeting agenda to analyze your activity in a tactical, honest way:
- What is your win for the week? Identify any steps you took that moved you closer to your goals. If you do this at the start of the week, the positive discoveries from this exercise can help you build momentum for the coming days.
- Review your KPIs. How many people are you talking to? How many appointments are you setting and going on? Are you managing your calendar appropriately to balance your daily activities for things like lead generation and lead nurturing?
- What is your game plan for the week? Do you need to get a new listing or move a home under contract? Match your activities to your goals, because no matter how many phone calls you make or conversations you have, they won’t move the needle unless they result in appointments.
- What actions will help you achieve your priorities? If you know you need to spend more time contacting current clients or preparing for an open house, plan activities that will help you accomplish those things.
- What feedback are you getting from your clients, peers, mentors, coaches and others? Are you sincerely considering that feedback or are you ignoring it? You’ll never grow if you don’t acknowledge the areas you need to improve.
The accountability playbook can center around your work, health, mindset, exercise, relationships or any other component of your life that you’d like to improve. But for it to work, these six components must be present in your accountability partnerships.
High-achievers have a plan, and they know that their productivity will be directly impacted by the work they put in on a consistent basis. People are counting on you to be your best.
Tom Toole is the founder and team leader at Tom Toole Sales Group. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn.