Remembering How to Sweep

I was out in my driveway this morning sweeping up the collected debris of a recent storm and the process got me to thinking.

There I was, using my push broom to gather the leaves and dirt into a pile.  I worked my way across the concrete surface, pushing the stuff a few feet at a time.  The back-and-forth process allowed me to see some progress and build up the collected detritus in a uniform fashion.  After I’d worked across the width of the drive, I was able to them work from either end and into a single pile I could then pick up.

Viola, a clean surface.  There was an analogy brewing in my mind as I worked.

We all gather leads and contacts on a daily basis.  And we all say we follow up.  But do we do it in a uniform fashion?  Are we “collecting” the data we need and what are we doing with the collected, ordered information (and is it really uniform or just collected?)?

The next time you come back from an event, try “sweeping up” the collected cards and notes in a way that’s organized and useful to you.  And allows you to come to conclusion.  They this approach:

  • Give yourself a quick, defined time to take this on from start to finish.
  • Empty your pockets and assemble all of the cards, notes and memories in front of you.
  • Sort the cards by who make the best impression to least memorable.
  • Review any notes on the backs of cards or on separate scraps of paper or in your phone.
  • Decide a priority–who to call, who to connect with, who to write to and who to ignore (consider using a simple “A-B-C” classification system for your leads.  More on that in another post).
  • Take action.  As I did with the “pick up” portion of my driveway sweeping exercise, DO SOMETHING with what you’ve collected–connect on LinkedIn, send a follow up email, add them to a mailing list, call them!
  • Rinse and repeat as they either drop off or connect.

You’ve applied a process to lead gathering.  Congratulations.

Now go sweep the front porch.


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