For many people, planning is a snooze-inducing topic that they have heard too much about and are tired of discussing. I talk to many recruiters who are in a perpetual state of “planning to plan.” They say things like this, “I know planning is important but I just can’t seem to do it on a consistent basis.”
We all know that planning is a powerful activity that leads to high production but the majority of recruiters out there are not doing it properly or consistently. In a way, it’s like losing weight. If you want to lose weight, you need to do two simple things:
1. Eat less
2. Exercise more
Planning is the same way. It’s so simple and straight forward – plan meticulously and you’ll bill a lot more – that many people tend to overlook it. Also, planning is similar to exercise in the sense that you must act on it and be pro-active.
I know of a $1 million producer who used legal pads, index cards and a simple ACT database for planning and contact management – but he meticulously planned each and every call in advance.
Here are 7 simple steps to powerful planning:
1. The Litmus test: If you can make 10-15 calls/ hour, generally speaking, that was a well planned hour. If you’ve planned well, you can make one call after another with virtually no paper shuffling in between. If you can do this, then regardless of your method, you’ve planned well.
2. The pen is mightier than the PC: There is a different level of commitment when you print out or write out your plan. Avoid working exclusively off the computer screen. Check off names as you go down the list.
3. Show me the money: The first calls of the day must be your “money calls.” This includes Refs/ debriefs/ preps/ closing/ follow up. These activities take precedence over anything else on your planner.
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4. Key question: What’s the fastest way to a send out? What leads to placements? Quality sendouts! I heard this idea from Danny Cahill and there’s really no better question when thinking of planning. “What’s the fastest way to a sendout?” should be the central question on your mind when you are planning your day
5. Think in blocks: Plan out your day in activity blocks: marketing/ recruiting/ sourcing/ research/ planning/ admin etc. If you plan in blocks, you’re more likely to execute in blocks, which is a hallmark of high production.
6. Marketing workout: Do you have a bad case of peaks and valleys in your production? Avoid this by making your marketing workout the first thing you do in the morning. I recommend making 5-20 marketing calls everyday, regardless of how many searches you have going. If you’re at full capacity, you just make 5 calls. This allows you to keep up your chops and upgrade your client list. It also prevents the dreaded feeling of finishing a great month and then realizing that you have nothing to work on and have to start marketing from scratch.
7. Guard your Golden Hours: Some people cannot fathom meticulously planning each call for an 8-10 hour stretch. If this is you, then start off small and think of at least planning your golden hours, 8 AM-1 PM. If you plan this section of your day, you’ll ensure that you start off with a strong start. Planning your morning hours everyday will be far more productive than planning your entire day on a hit and miss basis.
Gary Stauble is the principal consultant for The Recruiting Lab, a coaching company that assists Firm Owners and Solo Recruiters in generating more profit in less time. Gary offers FREE how-to Articles, Tools & Special Reports online to assist you in building your firm. Learn more now at www.therecruitinglab.com.Copyright 2005-2006 Gary Stauble – All Rights Reserved