Step 3 to Success in Sales

You’ve got your ideal getaway on your vision board, you know where you want to get to and what you will be doing, seeing and experiencing that makes this the event of all events; that makes this so incredible that the effort it took to make it a reality is negligible in comparison

If you’ve been following the journey of Steps to Success in Sales you will now have worked through (if not here they are)

Step 1 Have inspiring aspirations

Step 2 Figure out what success looks like

You are now at the part in your journey where you are ready to apply Step 3 Create your plan

A vision without action is just a dream, action without a plan is a painful and unnecessary journey

In this phase you take the elements of success (step 2) and break them down into manageable chunks. This has two advantages

  1. It makes it more realistic and far more motivational to follow

Think about it – If I told you that in order to achieve your dream aspiration in twelve months from now,  that you would need £12,000 there is a 95% chance (there are the 5% that think differently) that you would look at the sum and think “I don’t have that! I’ve never seen that kind of money and have definitely never earned that kind of money! I can’t do that!” 

Now imagine we take that sum and break it down over 12 months = £ 1,200.00 per month

Still not convinced?

Lets break it down even further to a weekly goal (4 weeks) = £300 per week

And if still not convinced, down to a daily goal (based on 20 working days) = £60 per day

How do you feel about the ability to create £60 per day? If you’re like me when I started sales even this seemed too much so I took it one step further and broke it down to hours (12 hour working day – start of my sales career) = £5.00 p/hour

“You mean all I have to do is focus on generating £5.00 every hour? That’s easy how do I get started?!”

I took this principle from one of my most valued mentors, John Maxwell, when he shared a story regarding the need to cut down a massive Oak Tree that had died in the back yard with a small hand axe. To summarise – when you look at the tree and you look at the tool you have you start off by thinking “its going to take forever, I just can’t do this!” but if through research you knew that with this axe, it would take on average 1200 strokes to cut clean through and that this equated to 5 chops a day for the next 12 months (which is the time you have given yourself to accomplish this task) then it would seem very achievable and are therefore willing to take action

2. It enables you to create the plan

A Plan

A detailed outline of actions, time frames, tools, and resources following a structured path resulting in the achievement of a pre-determined goal

When you start creating your plan remember to design it following the SMART framework

S – Specific

Each aspect of the plan must be clearly and expressly detailed

Not S – I will make sales calls

Definitely S

“Every day starting at 8am, I will call my pre-identified list of prospects until I have managed to have five (5) quality conversations. A quality conversation at this point means a) speaking to the decision maker b) being able to do my introduction c) the person agreeing to speak with me. I will do this every day Monday to Friday till I have achieved success of a quality conversation as laid out above, at which point I will adapt my measure of a quality conversation to the next level”

“My pre-qualified call list will have been generated the day before through the search process I have decided on, and will at all times contain a minimum of 50 names (this is made up of people I did not manage to get hold of, people who said to call back, references and referrals I have picked up along the way) and will contain their name, surname, job title, mobile number and/or office number and one piece of interesting information I may use to start my conversation with”

Note – there is a lot more that can go into this however I feel you have the gist

How do you know its specific enough?

Is it measurable? Do you have numbers – factual, tangible data which you can use to measure against?

Is it achievable? At the outset this may not always be easy to answer until we have given it a go. That being said, there are very few activities we under take now a days which somebody else has not already done and an easy way to ascertain this is to ask somebody that is succeeding in what you do; somebody who is a few months ahead of you, what there experience is and whether they see this as achievable. Important Tip! You want to ensure you are set up for success and therefore I recommend starting with an easy to achieve plan which gives you confidence and which allows you to then build up from. If you are not achieving, you will quickly become disheartened.

Is it relevant and realistic? Do the activities you have planned to take a) have purpose b) contribute to the realisation of your goals

Is it timed? Have you set time lines and dates to every activity and goal?

 

Those are the fundamentals of Step 3 Sales to Success. In step 4 we will look at further things you would want to be aware of in order to make step 3 as accurate as possible

 

Have a truly prosperous day

Words of Wisdom: Accelerate Success

When you involve the organisation every day in defining the required actions, You increase the capability to manage and accelerate success in the chosen area

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Houston, we’ve had a problem

The rather sombre words uttered by Jack Swiggart, Command Module Pilot, Apollo 13, at 21:08 April 13. 1970 shortly after Oxygen tank No. 2 blew up, causing No.1 tank to fail. A catastrophe which left the shuttle and its crew stranded: No electricity, lights, or water; 200,000 miles away from earth, with no way to power the engine to “begin an immediate return to earth”

Thankfully, due to the expertise, courage and sheer blooded determination of the shuttle and ground crews this story ended – as James A. Lovell writes in his book Apollo Expeditions to the Moon, CHAPTER 13.1, Houston, we’ve had a problem, – not as a tragedy but “a successful failure”

How many businesses can say the same thing? You’ve launched successfully and are powering along, nose to the grindstone moving towards your chosen destination. Your dashboard says you are on track – profit is growing, you’ve moved into bigger offices, are hiring new staff. Okay, like Apollo 13 you’ve had a few minor surprises – your top performer quit to join a competitor, you’ve had a few performance issues, all minor trembles but you’re growing and your dashboard says profit is up so you keep going. And then

Bang blog

You find yourself in a space with no resources: you lose your most experienced people through performance and churn issues, leaving you with ‘newbies’ who are going to take at least 6 months to start contributing. The problem as you investigate further is that the newbies are actually not performing, or being as productive as you thought nor are they anywhere near where they should be in terms of abilities.

You desperately need to do something and do it quickly or you and the shuttle might not make it out of orbit.

Luckily in most cases, much like Apollo 13, business owners have the courage, determination and sheer bloody-mindedness to push harder – get training for the ‘newbies’ put in a better performance management system, change the recruitment process and hire more people and slowly the shuttle rights itself and carries on towards its intended destination with nothing more than a stress headache.

Only, it’s slower with a lot of clunking that you hadn’t noticed before and pretty soon you have another…Bang

For those of you out there who have experienced this, I am sorry and hope that you don’t go through this again. If you haven’t been through this yet, lucky you :0)

In either case: How do you (as mush as possible) prevent this from happening and if it does, then ensure that instead of a catastrophe you turn it into a “successful failure”

  1. Identify the warning signs – There are always signs of impending problems, the earlier you recognise and acknowledge them the easier it is to minimise the chance of them occurring
  2. Take appropriate action to correct the warning signs – As with the Apollo mission there were many things that should have been challenged and changed. Unfortunately, time and cost pressures often put a stop to these happening Two very important words around action:a) Take – Action needs to be taken, which because of change can be harder to dob) Appropriate – The right action needs to be taken, it’s no use putting a bandage on a headache.
  3. Recognise that you need help in taking the appropriate action: (Think symptoms vs cause) Most often actions take place which rectifies the symptoms. the problem here is that it looks good at the time but only wears down further later on. True change/ transformation is a complex business with many facets. As a leader/owner, you are a critical part of the change,  however, because of your position and vested interest in the success of the business help should be sought in moving this forward.

Identify the warning signs

Sometimes its hard to see the ‘cracks’ – warning signs that although nothing is obviously wrong, if action isn’t taken quickly and efficiently you should expect a bang. I’ve created a short questionnaire which you can complete. The questionnaire is a short, informal, non-scientific tool I designed from years doing this work.

Want to identify if your business is a “Houston, we’…. candidate” complete this short questionnaire Click on this link

I understand the challenges leaders go through, I’ve been in the business of organisational performance a long time. Leadership in Motion was formed to help organisations flourish by developing their people into strong, confident leaders: Leaders who recognise their purpose and authority; and who have the tools and means to equip, enable and empower others to realise their full potential. Find out more

To be a successful leader, you need to behave like a great parent

As part of my ongoing learning and development, I am currently making my way through a phenomenal book by Alan Kendrick, Randy Alcorn, and Stephen Kendrick called

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This morning as I studied my new week’s chapter (each week I focus on one chapter, allowing me to truly focus and apply the key message for that week) I had an epiphany about leadership.

RESOLVE TO BLESS YOUR CHILDREN

“I will bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.”

Now to those who know me, me focussing on this area appears somewhat strange, especially as we (my amazing wife and I) don’t have children, and your confusion would be well placed as I too thought ‘why the heck am I reading this and what possible value could it add to my life?’.

Oh ‘me’ of little faith :0) One of my prayers before any kind of activity is to pray for wisdom in any interactions I have so that I hear, see and learn what my Father voice and in this instance, it came out loud and clear.

To be a better leader, you need to become a better parent

The link between parenthood and leadership came about through 2 bible verses/words of wisdom the authors share.

  1. “Fathers do not exasperate your children so that they will not lose heart” Colossians 3:21
  2. “Before training and instructing, it is critical that we do not frustrate or embitter or they will lose heart and not listen to us” the authors

As I read these words the first clear message that came to me was “Parents are leaders, and leaders are parents.” Don’t go away, hear me out…

Below I relay nine things the authors listed (buy and read this great book for all the details) that cause children to lose heart. Alongside each ‘thing’ I have started a sentence which I urge you to complete.

Thing            (Definition)                                        “Complete the sentence…”

A) Absence (Not giving full attention; outright not being there)

“When my boss doesn’t give me their full attention (at the appropriate time) I become …..

B) Anger  (saying or doing things that wound

“When my boss acts out in anger towards me I …”

C) Unjust discipline (unjustified or administered unfairly)

“When my boss mete’s out discipline unjustly or unfairly I …” 

D) Harsch criticism (sarcasm, belittling in private or public)

“When my boss says sarcastic or belittling things to me or about me I …”

E) Lack of compassion (not listening fully, not clarifying)

“When my boss doesn’t listen fully or dismisses my fears/concerns I …”

F) Favouritism

“When my boss shows as if they have favourites I …”

G) Hypocrisy 

“When my boss preaches one thing and does another, I …

H) Misunderstanding (not listening and then disagreeing or sharing opinions)

“When my boss shares their opinion or disagrees with me before having fully listened and understood I …

I) Unrealistic expectations (set up to fail)

“When my boss assigns me tasks or objectives for which I am not equipped or skilled to accomplish, I …”

To conclude,

If you are anything like me and the people I have observed in the workplace on the receiving end of any one of these behaviours, I hope you realise that leaders, like parents, have people who need to be treated and communicated with in certain ways. Failure to do this will and does, lead to resentment and withdrawal most definitely a costly and often painful event.

Would love your thoughts and reflection on the above. How do you as a parent/leader ensure engagement and positive development?

Have a brilliant week

Success and ‘Not Yet’

“Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. If we do our best, we are a success.”
— Zig Ziglar 

Words of Wisdom from a legend

 

I came across the following clip called Six Secrets to Success which I felt deserved sharing.

Why?

Because the man who shares these 6 secrets has embodied all 6. He is a sportsman, actor, politician and influencer who has entertained, inspired and led millions around the world.

Watch and enjoy

 

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=-0PrTkE5jG4e