ViewFromTheTop: Perception Is Reality
What is the reality of your business today? Are you creating the success and profits that you're after, or are you struggling to get your company on the right track? If you're struggling to create the reality you've always wanted, the problem might actually be your perception.
Here's an example of what I mean. At Feazel Roofing, we used to operate under the policy of getting one-third down as a deposit on all of the jobs that we sold. At one point, I had a consultant come into my business and tell me that I should consider getting half down on our jobs.
At the time, I didn't think it could be done. After all, no one else was doing it in our market, and I figured it simply wouldn't work. He showed me some numbers, and I halfheartedly decided to get my team on board with the half-down philosophy.
Since I wasn't 100 percent convinced myself, selling my team on the idea that we had to start collecting half of the sale as a deposit was tough. I remember presenting the case for the change, and everyone simply nodded along, from the veterans who'd been with me for years down to my newest salesman, Tim. They listened, and headed out the door.
That week, sales were good, and as we neared the end of the week, it came time for the sales meeting. At the time, I looked down at the numbers and saw the reality that nearly all of them had failed to collect the half down on the sales they made.
Achieving the ImpossibleI went around the room and questioned them on their sales, starting with Roy, one of my best salesmen. "Roy, what happened? Why didn't you get a half down on these jobs?" I asked.
"I just couldn't do it. I would have lost those sales if I'd pushed for half down," Roy explained.
I glanced back down at the numbers and turned my attention on Tim, who had just completed his first week with my company. "Tim, how did you do this week?"
Tim excitedly replied, "Great, I had two sales!"
"That's fantastic!" I replied. "How did you do on your deposits?"
At that question, Tim confidently looked at me and said, "I got a half down on both of them."
At that comment, the rest of the room stirred. I pressed on with Tim. "Did you have any resistance at all to the half down?"
"None at all! I just asked for the half down," he explained. "I can't understand why everyone else had such a hard time. All I did was ask for it."
There it was. It was possible. It was possible because Tim didn't perceive it to be impossible. I said, "That's because you didn't know any better. It's because you weren't afraid to ask for the half down deposit. Guys, has everyone in here learned something? It's possible. You just have to believe it's possible."
That changed the perception of everyone in the room. Before, their perception was that customers wouldn't go for a half down deposit. Tim's perception was different. In both cases, their perception became reality. The reality is that homeowners will put half down for their new roof, but the key is for the salesman to believe it's possible and to ask for it.
This is just one example that relates to the situations you probably face in your company every day. Whether it involves your own perceptions or your team's, the wrong perception can create an unsuccessful reality for you and your company.
Once the perception of my team changed, our reality changed with it. From that point on, we operate with half down on all of our jobs. That new reality has brought much-needed cash flow into the company and has allowed us to complete even more jobs without the customer resistance my team originally feared.
What perceptions are holding you back? If you know you need to do something to become more successful, do it. If you perceive it'll work, you'll be one step closer to making it a reality.