In this increasingly busy world, many of us find ourselves getting drowned deeper into more and more work. It has become difficult to see the light of day with everything piling upon us. So when can we stop running around like a chicken with our heads cut off? In this episode, Jen Du Plessis sits down with Bruce Lund to discuss how we can work smarter and not harder. They talk about how we can get the most out of our day with the right time management so that we can not only be the most efficient but also get as much from our business in that timeframe. Bruce is the Founder and Director of the 90-Day Sales program, where he helps thousands of professionals all over the country increase productivity through accountability with intense and positive sales training. He shares with us some of those great wisdom along with the four-hour workday and the five habits of effective salespeople. Don’t miss this jam-packed conversation!
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Time Management: Get The Most Out Of Your Day And Business With Bruce Lund
I have with me, Dr. Bruce Lund. He has trained thousands of professionals all over the country. His coaching journey began as a 25-year-old author and speaker to young professionals. He was hired as a Program Director and Professional at Texas A&M System. He takes pride in his versatility of coaching top one-percenters, the brand-new salespeople and everything in between. He does this through the heart of a teacher approach using his PhD in Behavioral Science to accelerate business growth in a fun and dynamic way. Bruce, I want to say thank you so much for joining us, welcome.
Thank you so much, Jen, for having me. I cannot wait to talk with you and talk to your audience.
One of the things that I do is I like bringing on other people that are coaches like me and I never considered this competition. It’s collaboration. You might resonate with Bruce over me and he might have a style that you have interest in and you’ll remember that I’m the one who connected you. That’s all good.
I don’t think they’re going to resonate with me more than you, Jen. You are truly amazing. I had so much positive feedback when you were on my podcast. I appreciate that.
We have quite a few things that we’re going to talk about, but what we’re specifically going to dive into in my opinion, is getting the most out of your day. I don’t call it time management, I call it priority management, but getting the most out of your day so that you can be the most efficient and get as much business as you possibly can in that timeframe as well. That’s one of the key things that we’re all doing. I want to share really quickly a couple of statistics to set the tone. That is a study that in the top ten professions where there is a suicide, financial services are number five. It’s because of stress and overwhelms, economic conditions, not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring and the chaos that happens. The top eleven reasons that heart attacks can be provoked in a profession are desk jockeying like you and I are doing, sitting all day.
Thank goodness for iWatches because it tells me to stand up every hour. It reminds me to move around or you’re not moving around. The other is working long hours. The other reason for the top eleven reasons why people have a heart attack and here’s three of them are in the financial services industry and that last one is not having control out of outcomes in your business. That’s pretty amazing because we know in lending you can be perfect in everything you do for a loan and it can still blow up on you. That contributes to a heart attack and it contributes to suicide rates. That’s why we’re going to be talking about this. We’re going to say, put the skids on it and stop running around like a chicken with your head cut off and work smarter, not harder.
You’re talking about those three things. I’m over here thinking, “Every one of the people that we coach, we all go through that.” How do you build, maintain and protect your confidence? How do you make sure that you’re putting your personal life in front of your profession? That’s what’s going to feed the professional and all of that. I can’t wait to go through a lot of this stuff.People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Click To Tweet
Let’s talk about what makes you an expert that you’re able to coach people? Have you been in business? Tell us what your story is.
That’s always a question that I get because I have not sold real estate. I have not done a loan application myself or any of those things. I have a unique background to where I helped to grow a multimillion-dollar coaching business in Nashville as the VP and Director of Sales and any title that you want to use. We are a two-man show, but we are coaching the top producers, the hundred-plus million-dollar producers in the mortgage, in real estate and all these different industries. What started happening was these people that are top producers kept saying, “Your systems work, but what about coaching for other younger and newer people?” I got put in charge of developing a program and at that time, we called it Talent Supply. We get younger and newer talent ready faster. I was hands-on with the sales approach and the disciplines and the accountability and the phone skills and all those things. It got back into my heart as a teacher, having a PhD in human performance and being a professor. It was transferring those same skill sets from that arena over into the sales training arena. Having done it for close to a decade, it’s been amazing helping people do those same results. At the end of the day, it’s human performance. We’re trying to increase their probability of us being more successful in whatever industry that you’re in.
To your point, a lot of people think that all I do is coach mortgage lenders and I don’t. I coach realtors and I coach solopreneurs as well because sales are sales, people are people, time is time, systems are systems, business planning is business planning. All of those things can be used in any industry. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I want to start talking and going right into the bigger picture for me and then we’ll talk more about time management. I want to talk about the big picture because I want to make sure that people understand exactly what we’re saying here. I know what the two of us do. What we’re saying is if you can take yourself out of being a commodity, my adage is always a niche to grow rich. If you can take yourself out of a commodity all by itself, it saves you time. Because now you have client attraction rather than you having to chase clients and that’s why it fits into time management. Let’s talk about how to not be a commodity in your business.
I would agree with that. At the end of the day, I would much rather attract versus chase business. I’m a big Jim Rohn fan. He talks about that. To attract more people, we must become more attractive. We’re not talking about from a physical standpoint or anything like that. We’re talking about from pure knowledge, skills, desire and confidence standpoint with your business. All of that goes back into the front end. The number one question that we all get asked in business is, “What do you do for a living?” Most people commoditize themselves in the first 3 or 4 words out of their mouths by saying, “What it is they do? I am in, insert your industry here.” I feel like on the frontend, that whole question is set up to commoditize yourself. We’ve all heard, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,”
Simon Sinek. I’m a big believer in that more than ever, having started my own business and launching it as people do buy into you on the frontend. They buy into your story and your experiences and unfortunately, having gone through as much schooling as I’ve gone through as much as you could possibly go through, the schooling system does a job of helping other people find the package and sell their special, their competitive advantage. That’s one of the things that I love doing more than anything is I’ve been studying personal branding since I was 23, 24 years old. I wrote a book when I was 25 called Nextpert, you’re the next expert. For me, it was moving in the opposite direction of all the Millennials out there.
Millennials get such a bad rap when it comes to lazy and entitled, all those different stereotypes. I’m like, “Those are all things I don’t want to be.” It gets back into that, which is it comes down to you not being a commodity. It’s the same thing in the mortgage industry when there are 3,000 loan officers in the surrounding Denver area for instance. A lot of them are going after the same pool of people. We’ve all heard people do business with those they know, like and trust but I’ve added a fourth component, which is respect. That’s a book I’m working on. I love helping people figure out, why do people respect you? It’s because you’ve been battle-tested. You’ve been through something and because of that, it makes you an expert in that area. Stop commoditizing yourself. Stop going straight into your products, your services, how many days you’re going to close and whatever that is. That’s expected for the consumer or for your referral partners. That doesn’t get me to buy into who you are, what you do and why you matter as an individual person?
I don’t want to talk about net networking necessarily, but this is one of the things that we have a problem with is they know me and they like me because they say hi to me. The reason that they’re not working with you is that they don’t trust you. You can’t build trust without having lots of interaction, involvement and engagement rather than showing up, throwing up and not going back again because there’s nothing left to talk about. There’s a whole process for that, but what are some of the techniques or tips that you can give someone about coming out of the commodity?
To me, even not getting out of being a commodity is almost as bad as what is your passion? What is yours why? What are your core values? These are things that are hard for people to figure out and maybe you have some ideas for them because that something that niches, “I’m going to be a renovation specialist.” If I’m a realtor because I have realtors who read this, “I’m only going to be a listing agent.” What are some other ideas that you could present to the readers in understanding how to develop and sort out their commodity?
You talked about respect. There’s a Harvard Business Review that talks about that. The number one reason why people do business with you is they trust you and they respect you. We don’t talk about that respect part nearly enough in the process. I help people package their stories up. Before I tell you what I do, let me tell you what I believe. I like to pivot into what do I believe? Why do I believe it? What do I do? How do I do it differently? Who have I had done it for? Knowing how to ask for the business even in that first interaction, if I can help you like I helped all these other people and you share my beliefs, what would stop us from having more conversations or more dialogues in the process? The first part of that though is understanding, what are your beliefs?
I’m not talking about, “I believe in treating people well and showing up on time.” That’s all fine if you want to start with that space. My core belief and I believe that everybody should have a 5 to 10-word belief statement. It’s like your tagline like Nike, “Just do it.” We talk about all these companies and these brands, it’s the same thing for you. You should have a 5 to 10-word tagline, a belief statement, a motto, the way that you live your life. My motto is “I believe that trained people always outperform untrained people.” I have it down to five words. That’s my little tagline. It’s on everything. It’s on my business card, it’s on my website and it’s on my videos. It’s the way that I start my conversations.
The reason I believe that is because of my unique past, my struggles, my experiences, my education and my mentors, which for me it’s because I’m a former college athlete. I spent my entire life studying top producers. I now get to coach top producers. I have a PhD. All great performers have a great coach, teacher, trainer and mentor in their life. Because of that belief, this is what I do. I have a 90-day program. I get to help accelerate growth for people in commoditized and saturated industries. That’s much different than me than saying I’m a sales trainer or I’m a life coach. I’m living in a van down by the river motivation speaker. To me, you got to tell your story on the frontend. What do you believe and why do you believe it?
Because of that, this is what you do. The reason that it’s important is in this world, you need to be interesting yourself more than ever. We’ve all heard, “Be interest in other people.” I’m not disagreeing with that, Carnegie and all that stuff. It this world, talking about attracting, you have to know what your story is. You have to be able to articulate your story to attract versus chase in that first conversation. When I started telling people my story about, I believe it because I’m a former college athlete or I have a PhD or I studied top producers, immediately what happens is they’ll ask me, “What sport did you play? What position were you? What school did you go to? What’s your PhD in? What top producers do you coach?” It starts an open-ended dialogue where I’m an expert in that first conversation. That’s the exercise that we help people go through on a fun episode.
Mine is, “A life of values adds value everywhere in your life.” There’s a story behind all that. It’s the sabotage of the mortgage industry and believing that when your values are in alignment with your business, you’re going to add value everywhere in your life. In your health, your family, your relationships, your finances, your cultural experience or your spirituality and all of those things. That starts opening up doors like that too. The reason why I’m saying this is because I want people to know something that it’s still a value statement. It’s still a belief system without saying, “I believe.” I could say, “I believe that a life with values adds value everywhere in your life.”
It doesn’t matter how you say it, but how I got to that was interesting. The bottom line was, what pisses me off about people? That’s what got me there. It was my coach saying, “What do you believe in?” I go, “I don’t know. I believe I should write thank-you notes.” We can get trapped in that. He’s like, “I don’t want to hear that. What do you believe in?” I go, “I don’t like that people don’t go to church anymore.” That’s what I started saying. He said, “It’s about values, right?” “Yeah, it’s about values.” Challenge yourself as you’re reading this in different ways that you could establish what you believe in.
To that point, I call it the commodity factory. That’s what schooling is. It teaches us to be seen but don’t be heard and do all these different things. Could you imagine if in sales you never talk to strangers, which is what we’re scripted to do in our entire lives? We probably wouldn’t be good at it, but talk about being a commodity is most people for instance, if you have 15 or 20 years and somebody asks you, “What you do?” You immediately go into, “I have 15 years of experience in the mortgage industry. That doesn’t build an affinity for me towards you. It’s the story behind it. It’s the struggles and it’s the experiences. You tell that story breaks my heart that people don’t go to church anymore. They don’t go do this or they don’t go do that. That’s a story behind it, but a lot of people, we got to help them get to that story exactly as your coach did for you. That’s a big part of it. Stop commoditizing yourself. If you couldn’t go into your years of experience or even into your actual industry, that’s the whole point about this.In today's world, you need to be interesting more than ever. Click To Tweet
It’s a process of elimination. You can’t talk about your recent experience, you can’t talk about your company, you can’t talk about your products, you can’t talk about your service, now what do you talk about? What’s left?
Which are you, your experiences, your emotions, your friends, your family and all that? That gets into the human side of it, which is what we’re all attracted to. This goes back into hieroglyphics. I don’t want to go too far back, but it goes back into storytelling.
It does. Storytelling is huge. It’s also highlighting what you love to do and what your passion is. Aside from your why, it’s also highlighting that as well. Any other thoughts on that area before we move on to another topic?
There are six components and I call it an opportunity to save. Every first interaction, whether it’s a formal or informal interaction is an opportunity, not an obligation for me to differentiate, tell my story and build the whole know, trust and respect in every first conversation. To me, there are six components, what do you believe? Why do you believe it because of your unique past? What do you do? How you do it differently? Who you’ve done it for and then learning how to ask for the business? If you’re brand new in the business, you probably don’t know what you believe or why you believe it or how you do it differently. That’s where you have to rely on your team leader or your mentors and say, “This is how we do it differently or this is who we’ve done it for.” Those are a little piece of advice for people that are out there that are maybe brand new in the industry. You rely on your networks of people and the teams that you’re on within that process.
It’s funny, you say that because my son used to be on my team. He was on my team for several years and here is this young guy. He’s 22, 23 and he’s been in the mortgage business. People go, “How long have you been in the business?” They know he’s young. He says, “I’ve been in the business for 27 years from the womb.” It was a great starter because he would meet on the team and say, “I’ve been in mortgages all my life. My mom’s been in it all my life.”
Everybody’s like, “He has that backing.” They go right past him in their mind that they don’t have that wall up of the young professional. It doesn’t matter how old you are, I’m talking about being young in the business and they can go right past that. Thank you for giving us the six quick tips there. I appreciate that. What I want to do is, I want to talk about what you do with your time. I believe that we allow time to ooze. We all have the same 24 hours. Often, I’m asked the question, “How do you get this all done? How do you have all these businesses and all this stuff?”
I’ve become a master at managing my priorities. What are some tactics that you can help with people who allow time to ooze? Some of this is avoidance. Avoiding to make the calls of waiting to have to do the work. Time oozes and all these hours started happening as a result of that. I don’t know. It’s frustrating for me because I am laser-focused and intentional with everything I do. Maybe there’s some exercise you can give somebody or some tips that you can give someone about how to dig in, be present, get it done and then go home?
We hear that word intentionally from all successful people, “I know exactly what I need to get done. I’m laser-focused. I have a sense of urgency every single day to where I know how to get that done.” That’s the number one word that as a coach and as somebody with a PhD in that area. It is that, what are your high-value activities? Common sense isn’t always common practice, unfortunately. That’s why people hire coaches. That’s why we hire coaches. You and I each have a coach. It’s that when you’re inside the picture, a lot of times you can’t see it.
We need other people to tell us like, “Is that a high-value activity?” I was having a good conversation with my best friend here in Denver and he’s been in the business. He’s starting to build his team out. He gets frustrated and he used a term that he made up on the spot that we’re going to start talking about more, but it’s execution laziness. Most of us know what we should be doing. It’s just the laziness to go out there and execute it. Unfortunately, that sounds awful. That’s the case for a lot of people is when you know what exactly you should be doing. Your priorities and then you’re not doing it. It’s execution laziness. To be quite frank with people, I know it sounds negative.
It’s also the lack of knowing how. Let’s say I’m a loan officer, I know I have to make phone calls to people, to realtors, to financial planners, but I don’t know what to say. I know that it’s an execution issue, but is it laziness? It could be, maybe I’m too lazy to learn how to do it.
That was the point that we are talking about is this person knows exactly what they should be doing and they’d been trained how to do it. They’re not doing it. That’s the execution but you’re right. If you don’t know what to do or how to do it, that’s a whole other question. I’m a big fan of Stephen Covey’s whole person theory, mind, body, heart, spirit. Minds need us to learn. That’s the knowledge. The heart needs us to love and to be loved. The spirit’s seat is to leave a legacy. At the end of the day, when we know what to do and how to do it that’s knowledge and skillset married together. If you don’t have the desire and the confidence, desire for us as coaches is probably the most frustrating thing. Not even business but anything. If you don’t have a desire to do it, we can’t help you at the end of the day.
Do you think that gets back to beliefs as well? The beliefs aren’t strong enough. They aren’t embedded. They are burning. For me, I can tell you that I have many strong beliefs and strong desires or passions. That the faster I can get into the office and get my work done, the more I can enjoy life. It’s strong and compelling that nothing’s going to get in my way. You knock on my door and asking to have a second, “Do you have a second?” That stuff is not going to get in my way. That might be one of the issues is there’s not a strong enough why. I like why, I know what’s your why. I also believe in what you’re what and that’s one of my coaches. He has a book called What Is Your What? The why could be different from what your actual gifts are? Trying to find the alignment in all that is super key. Let’s say someone knows what it is, they know what they have to do and they go, “I’m not going to be an execution laziness person.” What’s a great way to structure my day in your opinion?
One of the things that I’ve developed is I call it the four-hour workday. We’ve all heard of Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek. No offense to Timothy Ferriss, that doesn’t exist for 99.9% of us. To me, getting back into your being proactive and being intentional. I borrowed the concept from Todd Bookspan the Win By Noon. I didn’t know that existed, but I was calling it to be proactive by noon. Every single day for my business and my life, because I launched my business a few years ago. I moved from Nashville to Denver. I didn’t know anybody in Colorado. Everybody thought I was crazy to get up and pick up everything and move from one state to another to launch a business. I’m thinking, “I’m going to move to Denver. I know you have roots here. You’re from Colorado. It’s outdoorsy and it’s active. I thought I was even in the best shape of my life.” The complete opposite happened. I got in the worst shape of my life because I’m drinking too many IPAs and I’m growing a business. I’m schmoozing and I’d be on the happy hour’s scene. I’m doing all of those things.
I realized the “What is the what?” which is without my body, my body is my temple, my energy, my confidence, all that stuff is tied to me. You’re talking about time management and we were both in agreement time management doesn’t exist. It’s my management and I will take it a step further, it’s energy management. We only have much good energy and some people do have better energy than other people, unfortunately. It’s being completely honest with yourself. Where do the things that are energy compounding versus energy-draining? I realized that personal development time for me is sacred. I spend 90 minutes a day on personal development time.Common sense isn't always common practice unfortunately. Click To Tweet
Getting back into the whole person theory, I do 30 minutes for my mind. I do 50 minutes for my body. I do 10 minutes from my hearts, which are the gratitude or thank you notes. I do 10 minutes from my legacy, which for me is my database. I’d take care of my database every single day. I do 90 minutes of tangible things for my person about and the time. I go into 90 minutes of my proactive prospecting, which is my professional development time. I do 30 minutes from my marketing activities and I do 30 minutes for my operational activities. I’ve done more than 99% of people proactively in the first four hours of my day.
I don’t have to beat myself up all day every day because of that, which is what most of us do. We always have a litany of things that we didn’t get done. It carries over into the next day. We’re running that roller coaster. Most people live in that frustration gap because most of us are high Ds, high Is. We want to be like, we’re driven and at the end of the day we beat ourselves up over all these things that we didn’t get done. Stop living in their frustration gap instead of living the celebration gap, which is what that four-hour workday allows me to do.
It’s all-time blocking, but also within each block is a specified list of things that are going to be done. One of the things that I’ve found is it’s one thing to time block and say, “I’m going to make calls during this block, but who am I going to call? I do not have a list of people yet.” That’s one of the things that we need to think about too. When you’re going to put these blocks together of time, which by the way are freeing, they’re not a prison, but when you’re going to put these blocks of time together inside the blocks, you need to be specific about what activities you’re going to be doing. It’s one thing to say, “I’m going to work out for 50 minutes.” That’s easy, but what are you going to do when you work out? Are you running? Are you swimming? Are you lifting weights? Are you taking a class? You think about, “What am I going to do?” If you show up at the gym to show up at the gym and you’ll wander around.
It gets back into that proactive part, to being intentional within that time block. The time block creates autonomy. Most salespeople need time block because we are all over the place. That’s one thing that I had to learn early on in my businesses. I have a business because I don’t want to have a time block and I want to have autonomy. The reality is the time block creates autonomy for us, which I know that’s a big why for you. It’s freeing you up to go do some of these other things that you want to go do, whether it’s family, your community, whatever it might be. You’re talking about having lists like building out a database. One of the things that I do on the front end is I have a planner. Every single week, I do a weekly vision board and a weekly mental map. My vision board is not houses, Ferraris, looking good and all that stuff like you’re traditional. Mine’s my database. Every single week I will sit down and I’ll plan out, “These are the people that I’m going out for this week that I’m trying to make an impact on.” It is intentional with who I’m talking to. I have a wholesaling system of ten categories of people and stuff like that. The only reason I created these things is that I had to because I was all over the place within my business.
People think being successful shouldn’t be hard. The thing is it’s not hard. It’s work. People don’t realize that they have to put work in. Those things that are non-sexy like tracking things, doing time blocking, keeping lists, they aren’t fun, but that’s where successful people are. Even in my history, with my production as a lender, I had to do those crazy things. I love that Les Brown has a great saying, “If you’re casual about your business, your business can become a casualty.” That’s important. One question I want to ask you in this four-hour workday and I’m going to give you a specific example. I’m sure those people that are reading are saying, “That’s great for you, Bruce, because you get up early in the morning and you want to work out and you want to do all these fun things. I don’t like morning and I want to do it in the afternoon.” What is your take on the shift of this? Where are these four hours? Can it be anywhere? It’s an energy thing.
I did get that question and I am much a believer where you’ve got to figure out what works best for you. As in any coaching platform, we’re giving a blueprint, it’s up to you to go execute the game plan that fits best for you. I know for me and myself, I go to happy hours a lot. That’s part of where I’m at my business. Therefore, I’m not going to come home after having 3 or 4 cocktails and go jump on a treadmill. However, it’s important for me to personal development and taking care of my body and exercise is important. I know some people that do it at their lunch break. Figure out what works best. We’re saying though that there’s a checklist of things that we know are important for us on a daily basis. Fit that within your 8:00 to 5:00 or whatever it might be for you.
In your opinion, what is the checklist of things that they should be doing? They should be doing personal time, getting a checkup from the neck up. Working out if you can, if you have time or if you want to, whatever it is you do. Me, I don’t work out at all but I dance for 3 to 5 hours.
That’s a workout.
I know it is. I tell everybody because people are like, “You dance every day?” I go, “Do you workout every day?” It’s the same thing. What I love about it, I usually have 8 to 14,000 steps a day when I’m dancing. I get them all in at once after being a desk jockey all day. We’re going to get a checkup from the neck up. We’re going to take care of our bodies. We’re going to make sure we have some time to eat something good instead of grabbing stuff and scarfing everything. We want to be calling our prospects, our entire community. We need to break this out, prospects, active and passive, those in your sales process, whatever your sales process is, those retentions or alumni clients, your referral sources. These are a lot of phone calls that we’re suggesting that people need to make. What else do we need to make? Checking on the process itself, we had a process.
There are ten conversations that you should have every single day in your business. I give a roadmap for that. I know some people prefer team days because they get in a flow state with that. It’s whatever works best for you individually. At the end of the day and I’m sure you agree with this too, your business should be boring on paper. At the end of the day, if your business is all over the place, the act of doing it isn’t boring because it’s fun and you enjoy it, but your business on paper should be boring. When it comes to your daily prospect, it’s the same thing? I have five new business conversations per day. I have three favorite people conversations per day. I have one connector conversation per day, which is my strategic partners and I have my one other, there are ten people that I’m talking to every single day. I know going into the day what that looks like.
I do copy team days where I’m maybe doing suspects versus prospects and stuff like that. It’s the same thing for the LO and the people that we coach. I’m a big believer in talking about The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. I reset at zero every single day with my scoreboard. These are the ten conversations that I’m going to have. I might even say that you have to call on five new businesses, your first five conversations. It can be you call your three favorite people to get warmed up and get the confidence to overcome the call reluctance. You go into what I call your help list, which is your new leads or your new targets or your flight club, which are the people that you’re fighting to earn the business, which could be more of your real estate agents and stuff like that.
I do something called first in ten, do it again. First thing in the morning people you should be calling. These are people you have to call. You’re not following up on contracts, you’re not following up on documents and you’re not confirming appointments. These are people that you should be calling whatever that breakout or combination is. That sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing that. I would just say if you’re reading, figure out a way. I would also recommend it, but you’re the expert here on the four-hour day. Maybe you can’t do 4 hours on day 1. Let’s move it down to 7, 6 and then 5 little baby steps to get there to see where you can carve off the time to achieve that.
All of this stuff that we’re talking about is we’re trying to help with those habits. Even working out, maybe it’s not 50 minutes, maybe you start with 15 minutes. It’s the same thing with your five new business, maybe it’s two new business conversations, but we’ve got to start somewhere and then we work up to it. It’s like anything elsewhere. We have to have that scoreboard. I truly believe that everybody competes harder when there’s a scoreboard. I try to make coaching and the system fun, engaging and gamify it. I’m not going to yell at you or cuss you out or anything like that, but at the end of the day, we all need some level of accountability to go play at that level. When left to our devices, we let ourselves down all the time, but a lot of times, we don’t want to let other people down. That’s why that scoreboard and accountability is important. Be honest with your personal assessment with where you’re at. If you’re seasoned, you already have a number of people. I remember your podcast interview with me, you said you bought a business off of 22 people. Was that accurate?
Yeah, it’s 22 A-players. The whole database is like 3,800. My focus was on 22 individuals who were giving me business. That’s it.
It depends on where you’re at, but a good number to get to like 200 active people. It could be your top 25, “These are my top 25 AOS people.” It takes time to cultivate those people. Because what happens with most people is you meet somebody, you build rapport with them. You’re like, “I like that person.” Everyday life happens and it’s been 90 days since I even followed up with that one person to go deeper into that relationship.Sales is a game of probability. Click To Tweet
I’m sure that those that are reading have had this happen to them. It happened to me too early on and sometimes here and there, it slipped through the cracks. I get a call from a borrower who said, “I was calling because we have a contract.” I don’t even know their name. I’m like, “Who are they? I forgot. Thank you, God, for bringing them back to me because I slipped through the cracks.” I’m sure we’ve all had those situations but we can’t sustain a business in those situations. We have to be proactive in what we’re doing. Let’s move on to 90-Day Sales as a way of life to run your business. I know that’s the program that you offer everyone is 90-Day Sales. Correct me if I’m wrong, is it mostly on onboarding or kickstart and say, “Okay, that’s it. Let’s refresh and clean the slate. Let’s start all over. In 90 days, I want to kick some butt and reboot.”
Some people do see it as a bootcamp. The reason I say it’s a way of life is I don’t care whether you’re brand new, whether you’re seasoned, you’re a top producer, is I do truly believe that all solopreneurs should go through this 90-day process, at least one time because there are usually five habits. We’re good at borrowing things and not reinventing the wheel. I’m a huge Stephen Covey. He had The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the number one bestseller of all time and Covey’s been a huge disciple for me. I borrowed from his 7 Habits and I say, “There are five habits of highly effective salespeople.” Number one is having something to say, which we talked about, which is not commoditizing yourself, being able to build rapport in that first conversation and having an opportunity statement. Number two is the proactive prospecting system. Sales is a game of probability. All we’re trying to do is stress the increase in the probability of something good happening, which is having a selling system and knowing your ideal clients, knowing what you’re trying to get in front of and then being accountable to that process.
The third habit then is a follow-up system. We all know the fortune is in the follow-up, building in an automated follow-up system to help increase retention and decrease slippage, which is what happens for a lot of us. I have a whole 90-day process for all my follow-up systems as well. It’s my unique customer experience, which is our new client onboarding process and how are we getting referrals, reviews and repeat business through that process. The fifth habit, maybe the most important in this saturated world is how are we getting more attention for our business? The reason I love the 90-day cycle as a way of life is that I’ve been shocked honestly by how many people have been in the business for 20, 30 years that don’t have any of these systems built and these five foundational things of your business. They’re all over the place, which is like, “Let’s start here then.” We then get deeper into it every 90 days based on where you’re at.
It’s like a roadmap to go deeper into the areas where they have gaps and things like that into. Do you have a gift for the readers?
Yes, absolutely. We launched what I call a Solopreneur Survival Guide. What that is, Jen, you had mentioned the word solopreneur and I have a podcast called the Solopreneur Movement Podcast. 60% of people in the United States are solopreneurs, which is the business that falls solely on you every single day, which is awesome. Unfortunately, almost 80% of them never make it to year five within their business. One of the things that I have that I give away for free as our 90-Day Sales Plan and our 90-Day Business Plan, which are these five habits. If you go to 90DaySalesPlan.com, there will be a free download there for our Solopreneur Survival Guide.
It’s a PDF that they would download and get free access to. If they want our planner, we have a VIP code in there that they can get that for a cost where we ship it to them. I am passionate about it. I know we’re talking about your why and stuff like that. I would agree it gets a little bit overused. Simon Sinek is amazing with Start With Why, but like anything else that’s become highly commoditized, if we’re being honest. My why is helping, especially younger and newer people. They have all this energy and they’re figuring out what to do with all this good energy. Great coaches, in my opinion, do three things for us and I thank goodness for all the great coaches out there who have truly changed my life.
My former graduate advisers were like, “If you didn’t find me, you’d be dead in a gutter somewhere.” I’m like, “You’re probably right.” I grew up in a small town in Michigan poor in a trailer. My mom was working in multiple jobs. My dad was an alcoholic for most of my life. Sports was always my release in life and it taught me many unique abilities in my life. At the end of the day, there are three things that a great coach will do for us. Number one is they’ll make us have conversations that we probably don’t want to have. They’ll make us do some things that we don’t want to do, but ultimately, they help us become something we never thought we could become on our own. That’s what I hope this solopreneur survival guide will be for other people are that roadmap to help them go be a coach. In this world, through podcasts and video and content, I heard an amazing stat and you’ll appreciate this is we’ve created more content over the past few years that we have our entire existence.
We will create even more coming up as people start spending more on social media and whatnot. It’s crazy. There is much stuff out there. There is the gospel of Google. You can read about everything. Everything that we’re talking about, you can get everywhere. You can get in Stephen Covey’s book. You can get in Darren Hardy’s book. You can get it in my book. You can get it in your old book. You can get it everywhere. It’s what are you going to do with it?
It’s the execution laziness. I don’t go to that one again. It’s the frustration gap. It is that execution piece. That’s where all of us, whether it’s you, me or whoever it is, we all need a coach.
Tony Robbins has a coach. He’s one of my coaches, his coach is one of my coaches too. He has a coach still and it keeps him pumped up. I’ve been in the presence of his coach when he received the text from Tony saying, “I don’t know what to do. Help me.” We all need that extra help. I love that. Thank you so much for gifting that to everybody and I appreciate it. As we leave here, you’ve already said a bunch of quotes, but let’s talk about what are you reading that’s inspiring you?
I might surprise you with my answer. I’ve pumped the brakes a little bit because I feel like we’re in an information overload. I am trying to truly hit a pause. I spend 30 minutes a day listening to podcasts and all this stuff, but it’s the implementation and the execution of it all. One tip that I would give people that I feel like I’ve mastered having a PhD, I’m not that smart. I’ve understood the CliffNotes version of everything in life. If somebody tells me, “Go read this book.” I did this with Blue Ocean Strategy for instance. Blue Ocean Strategy, I’ll go look at, what is the PDF CliffNotes version of that book? I’ll still buy the book but then I’ll read one chapter within a CliffNotes version and I go read that one chapter in the book because the reality is less than 1% of people read a book from cover-to-cover.
After graduation from high school which is sad, it’s 3 out of 10 people. Only 3 out of 10 read a book after high school. There’s an app called Blinklist. It was that same thing. What is this book about? There’s a book called Six Thinking Hats? There are all these hats that we wear every day and each one represents a different color and all that stuff. I don’t feel like reading the whole book. I go to Blinklist and go, “There are six hats, there are colors and each one means something done.” I was like, “I read Six Thinking Hats.” Thank you much for everything. It’s been a pleasure and I love the different angles at saying the same thing and because it’s repetition. All of us need that and we all need to hear new things. I always learned from all of my guests, I appreciate you taking time to come on and I wish you the best in 2020. If you have been reading and something that Bruce has said has resonated with you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to him at 90DaySales.com.
If I had one to ask, we do have the Solopreneur Movement Facebook page. I do want to build this solopreneur movement. I want to be known as the solopreneur guy and built the largest online community.
I want to again say thank you so much for sharing with us, Bruce. It means a lot to me.
Jen, if I could say one thing about you and I’ve met you out at the Tampa Bay event that we are both a part of and then you are on my podcast. I’ve dug into your podcast because there are a lot of podcasts out there. There are a lot of coaches out there. There are almost more podcasts and more coaches than there are salespeople. I love the fact that you make it tangible. Even for me, sometimes I’m 30,000-foot level and you’re like, “No, let’s peel back the onion layers on that.” I loved the approach that you take of not being fluff, not letting people get off on fluff answers and making them dig deeper into the content. Not only for you but because you know your audience wants it and they need it and they crave it. I want to say that to you. I’ve been on a lot of these, I know you’ve been on a lot of these and you’re doing an amazing job.
Thank you so much. I appreciate that. I always look at it as this simplistic approach. I am trying to be as simple as possible. Thank you again so much. I want to say thank you if you’re reading. If this is your first time joining us, welcome to the community. I hope that you enjoyed this episode and that you’ll read many more. Please go and give us a great rating and a review so that we can continue to grow and we will catch you next time.
- Dr. Bruce Lund
- What Is Your What?
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- The Compound Effect
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Solopreneur Movement Podcast
- Start With Why
- Blue Ocean Strategy
- Six Thinking Hats
- Solopreneur Movement – Facebook
About Bruce Lund
For over a decade, Dr. Bruce Lund has trained thousands of professionals all over the country. His coaching journey began as a 25-year old career author and speaker to young professionals. Bruce earned a Ph.D. in Human Performance at age 29, and was hired as program director and professor in the Texas A&M System.
He was then recruited back into corporate America as director of Sales for a top entrepreneur coaching business. The company tripled growth under Bruce’s leadership, growing to a multi-million dollar coaching business in less than two years. During this time, Bruce was also in charge of coaching top producers all over the country as lead business trainer in real estate, mortgage, title, insurance, and financial services.
In 2017, Bruce launched his own sales training business, 90-Day Sales Manager™, which has become one of the fastest growing programs in the country. Commonly referred to as the P90X of Sales Training, the program combines daily virtual training with weekly live coaching.
Bruce takes pride in his versatility of coaching top one-percenters, brand-new salespeople, and everything in-between. He does this through a “heart of a teacher” approach using his Ph.D. in behavioral science to accelerate business growth in a fun, dynamic way.