As the end of the year approaches it is time to review and measure our results and plan for better results next year. Before you work on your business plan, consider your “life plan” first. What are some of the goals that you want to achieve for you and or your family? Create goals that will require you to earn more money than you did last year. These will usually be possession goals like a new house, car or vacation.
They can also be goals that serve other people like donation goals to a church or charity or an education fund for your children. Whatever they are, to attain them will require you to make more money. “Money is not the end but merely the means to achieve your end!” To be a top achiever in the sales world you must have a strong “money drive”. Personal goals will create that drive!
After you have set personal goals for yourself and know “why” you are working, you can begin to plan your business to reach the goals you are now focused on. “Plan your work and work your plan” is an old cliché that has great value ans wisdom. Once you have established your plan you will know what needs to be done to get you the results that you want. Your plan will not only break your goal into manageable objectives but will give you great confidence that will drive your success.
We will start with your annual quota. If your company has not established one for you, you should establish one for yourself. Look at the business you were able to do last year and add to your results to establish a new annual goal. Don’t be weak, challenge yourself and resist the urge to do what is “safe”. The higher your goals the more likely you will become an overachiever. You will get what you expect!
Once the goal/quota has been established, let’s realistically look at where our/your business will come from. Start with your existing account base (if in fact you have existing business) and objectively look at what they did last year and then set a goal for what they should be able to deliver for you this year. If business plans or market conditions dictate different results take that into consideration. If your business last year was driven by an event or condition that occurred that will not happen this year consider and plan for it. Similarly if the opposite will occur that could be a windfall for you consider that as well.
Take into consideration what other products that your existing customer base might be able to buy from you. Cross selling and adding to the business that you have with existing accounts is the easiest way to get new business. Build strategies that will help you add to your business base in existing accounts without putting the valuable relationship at risk (we’ll be working with you to develop these “entry point” strategies).
As you develop your plan you will find that there are many opportunities for you within your existing account base. As you identify them and build the plans required to execute your plan your confidence in both the opportunity and your ability to develop it will grow. Similarly, like baking a cake, the likelihood of being successful increases exponentially with a recipe (plan). Don’t lose the value of the power in this simple comparison.
Once you have identified the business you believe you can write at your existing accounts it is now time to turn your attention to other opportunities. Step two of your plan will include past customers who are not currently buying from you as well as “prospects” that have identified themselves as opportunities. Start with building a list of people that you have done business with in the past. Rank them in order of importance (A, B, and C accounts) either in dollar volume or potential you believe they possess. If you sell multiple products determine your opportunities in each product offering.
Next (and still part of step two), list other prospects that have responded to any of your marketing efforts. Start with those who have responded more recently and then add older less qualified responses to the end of the list. These opportunities are better than “cold calls” and should be thoroughly explored before you go on to step three.
Step three will now include all other opportunities that you have in your territory. Rank in order of business potential (dollar or unit value) and make them the third priority in terms of time management. They will make good fill in calls as you plan your travel and calling itineraries.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail…”. Take the time to look at your business and plan your activities. Although your plan needs to be flexible, your ability to work in a planned and “on purpose” method will deliver much more than you will get in functioning “by accident”!
Action Step: Create a planning tool to review your business and build your plan. If you need help with this let me know and I can provide you with some templates, or plan on attending our goal setting program!