Planning and Preparation

Now that we have examined attitude, one of the main steps to sales success, by looking at its five pillars: (1) I’ve already done it! Putting the thought into Action; (2) Goal Setting – Plan you day; (3) Believe in yourself – You’re a winner; (4) Embrace change – Take risks; (5) Never give up!, we will look at nine (9) other essential steps to sales success over the next five (5) weeks. The other steps to sales success are Planning and Preparation, Prospecting, Rapport / Trust, Discovery, Solution / Presentation, Confirm, Negotiate, Action and Follow-Up.

We must remember in this process of attaining sales success is that our attitude will determine pretty much the quality of life we lead. The bottom line is that we are where we are in life based on the decisions we took, our jobs, our spouses our friends our income are all the result of the choices we’ve made. We need to quit rehearsing our excuses and confront our responsibilities head on. With a positive mental attitude we are more disposed to realizing the many great opportunities around us and we are able to meet any associated challenges with energy and optimism.

Now we look at Planning and Preparation another key step in the process of successful selling. How many of us find it difficult to sit down and plan the day’s activities, or to plan what we are going to do at the office for the week or month even? I dare say many of us! Success in sales depends to a great degree on planning that sales call. It’s wise to know the name of the customer, their contact details, the name of the company and what the company does. This will all help to avoid embarrassing moments like you having to ask what the company does. A recent UK study suggests that 48% of buyers confirm that customer knowledge is a powerful selling tool but is underutilized. Knowledge is a powerful differentiator.

Founders of the Lonely Planet travel publishing company in Australia, Maureen and Tony Wheeler were avid planners and published their first travel guide Asia on the cheap in the early ‘70s. Several titles followed in quick succession despite many challenging financial situations. One such challenge that saw the benefit of great planning was when ‘the company found a spelling mistake on the cover of their Western Europe title; they were faced with a dilemma. A decision had to be made over whether to pulp the entire print run, put a sticker on covering up the mistake or simply to admit it. Lonely Planet did one better; they inserted a bookmark which featured an imaginary scene with two warehouse guys debating the spelling of ‘western’. The resulting publicity meant the book sold out at record speed.’ Basically the benefits of planning in any business scenario are untold. Today Lonely Planet trade worldwide and turnover in excess of £23.1m a year.

History has long confirmed that success is created by proper planning. Successful sales entrepreneurs plan their work and work their plan. What’s the difference between planning and preparing you ask? Next time we’ll look at these differences in some detail before we discuss Prospecting, the third step to sales success

David F. Roberts is the Director of CaribDirect.com - The Caribbean at your Fingertips. He uses the Outlook add in, Attachmetric to see who opens his email attachments. Click here and try it for free!”
 

22 December 2010

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