As the empowered volunteer what good are habits for you? Besides the habit triggers previously posted on how to use the ABC’s of selling (Always Be Closing) as a habit cued by a buying question or statement, what else is a habit you should develop?
Glad you asked!
From Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business we can glean several helpful strategies for good habit formations.
First off, know that individuals have habits, groups have routines! This is important only to know that they are the same thing. Routines are procedures in most cases that are written down and formal. Sometimes they have what is called, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for specific instances that may come up, receiving, shipping, natural disasters, whatever. In the military, we lived by SOP’s.
Habits for individuals are very seldom committed to paper. Also, most individuals don’t have SOP’s for anything, they are more casual or to put it more loosely they “wing it”, meaning they have no formal plan and the make up their path as they go. This can work sometimes, but it is not a good path for the long term success in most instances.
If you want to make your personal structure a habit or routine if it is at the group meeting for instance, then know that it is a bit more complicated than just saying to do it.
If it were just saying do it, then the group Weight Watchers would not be needed. No habit change is that easy!
Groups have tons of habits or routines. Opening procedures such as the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Flag is frequently found. In the Optimists International group meetings they read the Optimist Creed at the end of the meeting, which is a great send off for the members when it is read aloud by everyone present.
Empowered volunteers can have or develop good habits that help them locate and develop a network of people who have the potential to join the group.
I would encourage all empowered volunteers to do at least a six month time frame for their prospecting. Anything less is apt to produce ineffective habits for the long term. If possible commit to a year. That is much safer for creating and embedding good habits that will stay with you in your later endeavors.
For most empowered volunteers, your prospecting will be done at times when you are not occupied at your place of employment. Never endanger your vocation. This means that you will find a couple of hours here or there to prospect. This is why habits are important.
Set them up with care when you start out. Cultivate the same way you initiate a conversation and how you introduce your prospect to the offer. Make is natural and smooth. Practice in front of a mirror before ever trying it out in a real situation.
The idea is to have keystone habits, ones which are the corner stones to all of your other ways of prospecting.
Keystone habits create a structure for encouraging other habits to flourish. An example of a keystone habit from Duhigg’s book is a food journal for weight loss. The keystone habit is a trigger mechanism that can impact the structure you want to create, in this case how to lose weight.
All habits follow cues. A cue can be many things. For movie goers, cues can be popcorn for movies. If you identify the keystone habit, you can make small wins. This is if you set up the right cues, and rewards. So keystone habits set up structures, cues trigger habits either good or bad, and rewards can also be good or bad. If you find a bad habit, say too many pauses or “uhhh’s” in your speech then change the cues to change the habits and ensure you reward yourself for every good change until it becomes a habit.
Groups use keystone habits more than individuals.
Examples from business listed in Duhigg’s book include IBM’s research and selling routines, Alcoa’s removing of parking spaces for senior executives to encourage people to show up early to get better parking, and Godlman Sachs’ risk assessment is conducted for every decision.
In the U. S. Navy in the 90’s a new program was rolled out by the management in Washington, D. C. They wanted the ship’s captains to allow a new quality program which was sweeping the civilian sectors and manufacturing circles. It was revolutionary and it promised to make great strides in efficiency for each command, so the promises went by the senior officers who visited each ship and promoted the message.
Trainers were sent to ensure all enlisted would participate. But the issue was, if an enlisted person was going to make “suggestions” for the Captain to implement it was seen as empowering the enlisted at the expense of the officers. For two hundred plus years officers wore the gold and made all decisions and they were not going to stop that process now, senior flag officers or not! The program died a withering death on all ships eventually, on most ships the groups that tackled a problem were hard pressed to get cooperation to even evaluate the problem properly, let alone find the group time to evaluate it and propose a solution.
The senior flag officers had made a very big mistake in leadership, they did not convince the officers on the ships that it was in their best interest to do this new program.
It was not sold, it was shoved down the throats of the ship officers and commanders. This did not breed an atmosphere of trust or empathy. The program was Total Quality Leadership, from the civilian programs of Total Quality Management and I was one of those trained in the process only to see it die a very fast death on my ship.
Don’t let your group get caught up in habits or routines that hurt your prospecting. Develop habits which support your group and if necessary set up keystone habits for the group to support your new members when they arrive.