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jason back

Why keep score?

jason back
Jason Back 4 minute read

Why measuring your effort matters.

I recently took my daughter, Sienna, to an AFL match to watch her cousins play in the half time AusKick competition. After carving up not just the other team but also his own, Aiden had kicked several goals, smothered everyone’s kicks and laid a million foe tackles, so Sienna congratulated him on the win. He said they didn’t win, as they don’t keep score. As the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my daughter looked puzzlingly at me and asked “Why not?” My explanation was a compromise of political correctness (as we all need to get a trophy) and indignation (because the best team on the day should have been recognised for their efforts).

As in sport, business and life, there are winners and losers. 

Now, I am not saying you need to be a winner every time, but if you’re not tracking your performance, how do you expect to improve? 

Seth Godin, in his book Small is the New Big, talks about measuring everything so you can fix it. I could not agree more. 

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Over the last several years, running (arguably) Australia’s largest and most successful independent brokerage where we measured over 80 different indicators every month, I can tell you that as soon as we were off track, we knew it. And, importantly, we knew it quickly. 

Just like when the car engine light comes on, you want to know what’s wrong with it asap; you don’t want to know just as the engine blows up. You want indictors, signals and feedback all of the time. 

In Jason Fox’s book, The Game Changer, he talks about three key principles: goals, rules and feedback. When he talks about feedback, this is directly related to the need to understand one’s performance, both lead and lag indicators. 

So, what do you measure in your business today? And, more importantly, are they the right things to measure? You certainly don’t need to measure 80 indicators, but you can’t measure none.

Many brokers (before I coach them) have a few items they track, while some say they “keep an eye on” some metrics and others, well, they don’t really have a system to track performance at all!

 I come from a world where the only surprise I like to get is breakfast in bed on Father’s Day. So why run your business just hoping for the best, always looking in the rearview mirror wondering what just happened? 

With all of the constant change and the whirlwind of your day, be kind to yourself and start putting a spotlight on the areas of your business that you know need attention. 

Great lag indicators (hindsight measures) you can track are:

  • Settlements
  • Net promoter score
  • Number of days the file took to move through the stages of your process
  • Profit (revenue - costs)
  • Referrals (in and out)
  • Conversion rates from lead to appointment, appointment to application
  • Number of approval in principles you have and their conversion rates
  • Number of appointments (15 minutes, 30 minutes and one hour plus) 

These are just a few of the lag indicators. 

Lead indicators are activities that you can do to affect the lag indictors. such as:

  • Number of calls made to new clients
  • Marketing campaigns sent
  • Annual reviews completed
  • Number of referrals asked for or made
  • Posts or content sent on social media

(To get the other 70 odd, you’ll have to come to my Broker Essentials Course!) 

So, what measurements will you start tracking tomorrow?

What can you put onto your visual dashboard to help keep you accountable to your actions? 

What can you do so that you don’t get surprised by your results now?

This is the fourth part of a series of blogs from Jason Back. You can find the previous instalment in the July edition of the magazine, or a version of that article here. 

Why keep score?
jason back
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jason back
Jason Back

Jason Back

Jason is the founder and director of Broker Essentials, which he launched in 2016 along with its practical and targeted program for brokers and administration staff that aims to help them grow their business by focusing on sales through service excellence.

Jason was previously the managing director of The Australian Lending & Investment Centre (ALIC), a leading mortgage brokerage.

He has over 27 years of experience in the finance sector, having worked in senior sales, distribution and management roles for ANZ and having provided financial advice and services on behalf of financial planning, equity trading platforms, private banking, lending and retail distribution brands.

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