Here are a couple of good questions for you: How do you prove the value of training? How can you accurately quantify the value of the time and money you invest in advancing your career through training and education? If you strive to be a true professional in your industry then you know it requires an ongoing educational process involving constant training. So how can you measure the effect of previous or potential training on your success?
Let me answer those questions by posing a few more: How do you measure your level of success now? How do you currently measure your effectiveness or know if you are getting better at what you do? Most people will answer that question either one of two ways: “I don’t know how to measure my effectiveness or if I am getting better.” Or “I look at the bottom line; am I making more money.”
Well, if you do not have a way to know if you have increased your effectiveness then you should realize that you can never actually improve. Unless you have some ruler; some barometer by which to measure your performance, you can never know where you are, where you’ve been or where you are going.
However, for those who use income as the only barometer, then how do you know what and where you need improvement? If you see no increase or even a decrease in your income, would you know why or what you could do to improve? Even if you made a little more money this year as opposed to last, can you identify the real cause of that increase?
The sad truth is that most people in our field and many others actually work and trust their livelihoods to luck; to mere chance and circumstance. “Boy I hope a close a few loans this month!” “Honey, please pray that I can get that new listing sold this week!” “Boy I sure hope the Fed lowers rates again.” “I hope the Fed raises rates…” I hope, I wish, I pray, etc. Now I am not saying that hoping and praying are not good things. But if you go out every morning hopin’ and a wishin’ and a prayin’ that things work out so you can pay your bills, you are doing nothing more than rolling dice at a craps table. Unfortunately though, this is exactly what we see. This is exactly why we see so many come and go along with every bull market while the highly-trained professionals maintain a consistent level of success no matter what the surrounding circumstances. Success in not about luck. It is about knowledge. Let me tell you how to measure your success and the value of training.
First, whatever your field, you need to have a valid measuring tool. If you are going to measure time, you use a clock. When want to measure if you grew taller or gained weight, you use a ruler and a scale. To measure anything, you have to have something that represents the standard unit of measure. You need something to use as a “model.” So, what is your model? If you do not have one, you need to design a model that represents the standard for success in your business including your specific geographic and demographic factors. Let me give you an example using a hypothetical loan officer.
One of his clients referred Mr. and Mrs. Average Home Buyer to Joe Lender and they call as they are looking to finance a new home. How long should it take before Joe is sitting in front the couple either in his office or at their place? Now I know there are a hundred variables that come into play. But what is a good or “optimal” time frame from the time he makes contact to the time he has an appointment set and realized? How long should it take you? How many cold calls should it take before you get one appointment? You have to design a model that represents the optimum transaction where everything goes perfectly. For Joe Lender, he will design reasonable time frames for each step of the process from the introduction to escrow and close. Now Joe, like you must be realistic here. You don’t want design a model choosing and closing the perfect financial vehicle in thirty minutes. Use real facts from your past performance or from the average of those in your company or specific area of concentration and construct a model by which you can measure your actual performance.
Once you have model and you are keeping good records via a sophisticated CRM (Customer Relationships Management) software tool, then your whole operating process becomes transparent and you will see exactly where you are strong and what areas need improvement. More importantly the true effect of your training on your success will become tangibly clear.
Joe Lender for instance, saw that in his sales model he should consummate a personal visit with such a prospective borrower within three days and that he should have their basic paper work and application complete by the end of that following week. However, when Joe looks over his actual performance, he sees that on an average it takes him a week to ten days to consummate the first appointment and he usually does not have the app complete for nearly three weeks. Further, he discovers that for prospects he does not close, he usually loses them in that three-week app period. With such information, Joe knows where his problems lie. Joe wisely chooses to seek professional training and enrolls in an on-line training program with a long-term learning management system. Just a few months later Joe sees that he now consummates most appointments within 48 hours, has applications complete within the same week and he no longer loses people at that point. Joe is on his way to becoming a true professional; one who does not have to hope and wish that he will make money because he KNOWS he will.
Success is not about luck. It is about L.U.C.K. = Labor Under Correct Knowledge!
© Copyright 2008 Bryant Nielson. All Rights Reserved.