“I’m still not following you. Showing up, making a presentation and getting the order, is not the work of a salesperson?” Brent protested.
“Those are valid activities, prescribed duties, but not the work,” I replied. “Tell me, on every sales call, what must be discovered about the prospective customer, before a sale can be made?”
“Well, you have to find out the customer’s need. If they don’t need it, they are not going to buy it, especially right now.”
“And what is the goal?”
“To write the order,” Brent shot back.
“By when?” I asked.
Brent stopped. “We have sort of a two-call closing process,” he finally concluded. “The salesperson needs to write the order by the end of the second call.”
“So, tell me, what are the problems that must be solved, what are the decisions that must be made by the salesperson to reach the goal by the end of the second sales call? Because that’s the work.”
It’s January, annual reflection time. What are your intentions for the year?
More important than the ideas of your intentions, how will you make them more effective as guideposts, milestones, motivation and internal encouragement?
What is the form of your intentions? Like New Year’s resolutions that are forgotten, intentions can easily fade.
- Define your intentions in written form.
- Read your intentions out loud, in private.
- Say your intentions out loud, in front of a group of people.
- Give that group permission to hold you accountable.
- Post your intention somewhere public, where you see it every day, where others see it every day.
You can start with a 3×5 card taped to your mirror.
From the Ask Tom mailbag –
What happens if someone isn’t focused on a timeline? We have a number of people who need to be strategic and who need to maintain a number of balls (projects) in the air, but those projects tend to focus on a “perfect outcome” without a time-frame.
One of the biggest mistakes managers make, is assigning tasks without a deadline. Lots of chocolate messes start out this way. All projects have a deadline, whether stated or not.
- The manager thinks “by Friday,” the team member thinks by “next month.”
- The manager thinks this task has priority over all other tasks. The team member thinks this task has second priority over all other tasks.
- The manager expects to see a draft plan by Friday. The team member hasn’t heard from the manager by Thursday, so stops working on the task, thinking it is no longer important.
A task (goal, objective, project) is not a “WHAT.” It’s a “WHAT, BY WHEN.”