Do you remember the famous Dunkin Donuts commercial with the guy who wakes up every morning at 3 am, opens the store, and monotonously proclaims that “it’s time to make the donuts”?
That’s called being in a rut!
If you’ve recruited for any period of time, there’s a good chance that you’ve gotten yourself into a rut at some point.
What’s a rut? It means you just go through the motions - doing the same thing you’ve always done. Each and every day, you ‘go and make the donuts.’
You make the calls…
You send the emails…
You prep...You debrief…You close…
You go home…
There is something to be said for consistency. Don’t get me wrong, as consistency is a key component to long-term success. But, consistency and a rut are two very different things. Consistencies are the patterns and traits of success. A rut is a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change. A rut also lacks energy.
Energy is a key element of recruiting. Without it, your tone and excitement just aren’t there. Without that tone and excitement, you come across poorly in your presentations, questioning, and closing. Without that energy, you are in a rut.
How do you get out of a rut? Funny you should ask…
Change it Up
I’m not suggesting you start using a British accent (unless you already have one). Change up your routine. If you always market first thing in the morning, start out with some recruiting calls. If you always ask the same question the same way every time, find a different way of asking it. Small changes in your activities can reap big benefits because it will feel fresher.
Upgrade your Skills
One of the quickest ways to get out of a rut is to learn new skills. I don’t care how long you’ve been in this business, if you are truly open-minded, you can always learn new ways to do the elements of this job that you’ve always done. Whether it be new verbiage or a newer process, adding a new element can make it exciting again. By adding these new skills, you run the risk of failure. And that’s GREAT! That fear of failure will keep you on your toes and focused. If that doesn’t get you out of a rut, I don’t know what will.
Take a Break
No one can go at a sprint speed every day, nor should you need to. It is also important to ‘recharge the batteries with a break. These breaks can be during the course of the day or days/weeks at a time. Studies have shown that taking a break every 45-48 minutes while working significantly improves your productivity.
To fully recharge, taking time off to enjoy with friends and family will give you fulfillment in life and give you reasons to make more placements to take more trips. Now, if you have kids, you’ll need a vacation from the vacation :)
Get an Accountability Partner
A great tactic to get out of a rut is to find an accountability partner. Challenge each other to do certain things each day and week. Then, as the name says - hold each other accountable! This will create a sense of need to complete the tasks and to complete them even better than before because you are being held to a standard.
You are probably saying “hold on Chris, isn’t being consistent the pathway to being in a rut?” No, it isn’t. I love consistency. I’m a big believer in it. I love streaks! Just a little peek into myself of this matter:
- As of publication, I’ve exceeded 10,000 steps each day for more than 5 years
- As of publication, I’ve run every day for 515 straight days
- I’ve run at least a 5k race (5k to marathon) every month since I started running in 2012
I don’t believe any of these streaks would classify me being in a rut. I believe being consistent gives you the opportunity to strengthen your resolve. It gives you the opportunity to fine-tune elements of discipline.
Ideas of creating consistency in recruiting could be:
- Marketing every day no matter what
- Always make 2 additional calls after 4 pm
- Post content on LinkedIn every day
- Ask every person for at least one referral
These types of consistent traits can only add to your success.
Doing the same thing over and over without change, without accountability, without taking a break will lead to being in a rut. But, if you do some of the things suggested above, you can both get out of a rut and stay out of a rut.
Don’t be the donut guy!