I had a great conversation with David, a podcast host, last week. He spoke about how getting into podcasting five and a half years ago, his focus was on quality. Quality, then frequency, then consistency. He prepared, he organized, he researched each show to produce a weekly podcast that was the best quality it could be. He worried about every question asked. He reviewed every interview at length to gain insights into improving the quality.
His insight five years later was that quality was no longer the secret sauce to his success. He said the traits that have led to his success were the same but in the opposite order of priority. Consistency of effort was now his absolute key to success of his marketing, the podcast and the business that flowed from it.
It is true in all aspects of our work and life … consistency is the key. Frequency is the next most important to make strides and impact. Finally, or in third place, becomes quality.
For someone who loves quality in everything, this prevailing order was tough to accept until I started to apply this insight to many different projects and areas of life:
Physical Health – people who maintain great physiques and fit bodies don’t always have great workouts. They don’t always get to the gym every day. But, consistent exercise is part of their life and habits. They often talk say things like, my workout was terrible today but at least I went. This really summarizes the idea that consistency of showing up and putting in an effort, any effort, is the key to their performance and results. It is not a fast metabolism or some miracle workout routine that is a higher quality.
Sales – Not every sales call, not every presentation, can be your absolute best. It is known that most salespeople don’t follow-up more than 1 or 2 times before going silent and moving on to the next opportunity. Great sales people consistently make the extra follow-up calls and efforts. They make the extra new business call each day or have a weekly target. They consistently do slightly more than their counter-parts. The quality of a conversation doesn’t always need to be scripted and perfected for it to be real, effective and successful. It is their goal of consistent actions and efforts that produce big sales outcomes.
Team – It is the consistent actions, communication and approach you take to your team that creates the culture and relationships. It is not the one time Xmas bonus you paid, the pay raise last year or the time at the company BBQ you talked to someone about their pet snake. It is the ongoing consistent work you do that creates team among your people. Frequency of communication and efforts in relationships is also key. Quality of every conversation and every team message is of lesser importance when people consistently know you care and are interested.
What efforts are you consistently doing each week? Where is your consistent focus?
Knowing the answers to these two questions will tell you why you’re getting results in some places and not in others.
The shift to consistent effort doesn’t need to suddenly be 90 minutes a day spent on sales activity. It doesn’t require 30 minutes a day talking to each of your people in-depth. Great shifts in results comes with a daily focus of 5-15 minutes to start. Begin making changes to your consistent routine with time allotments that you can handle calendar-wise as well as emotionally. Then watch the changes.
Changes won’t come on day one but they will appear sooner than you expect. Like playing piano for 15 minutes a day, within weeks and months, your skills will improve exponentially. Focus on the consistency of your efforts above all else for incredible results in 2020.
Consistency. Frequency. Quality.