Hans Hansson | February 5, 2015
As we dive into the New Year, many of us salespeople are preparing to meet with our sales managers to review the annual business plan. Goals and objectives are being set and optimism is the name of the game.
After 30 years in sales, I can tell you that business plans are a nice exercise, but more often are not achievable or even more often –– not executed. After reviewing my own employees' business plans, as well as creating my own each year, what I have learned is that great salespeople rarely use plans at all. Good salespeople are very enthusiastic about creating plans and will be more committed in implementing them and conduct follow up, while poor salespeople may be very enthusiastic initially, but rarely succeed in any form of execution.
But why is this the case? It's called being stubborn. In order to successfully implement a business plan, you must be prepared to execute your plan. In this case, you must truly believe that you will succeed. Even with that said, being stubborn trumps execution every time.
I am writing this article because of a very sad example of this that I just witnessed. My wife and I have attended a neighborhood restaurant for years. Over the last several years ownership let the business go enough to lose their client base and lose serious money in the process.
An opportunity came their way by being featured in a national television show to have their restaurant renovated with a new identity and new menus. Both the husband and wife were extremely excited and committed during the shooting of the show, which featured him describing himself as being stubborn in the past at making the necessary changes to revive his business. But now, he was committed to making these dramatic changes. We participated in the show and were extremely excited and happy for them. The new menu was amazing and the renovation showcased a fresh look for a new start.
We just went to the restaurant the day after the show aired, expecting a grand reopening. Instead, we entered the same old restaurant, with the same old menu, and with the same poor attendance. After it was all said and done, nothing had changed.
How could this have happened? How could someone have been given such an incredible opportunity for success and just completely disregard it?
The answer is the owner was simply too stubborn to change. As a result, he could not execute and be successful.
If this restaurant owner is someone you can relate to and your business plans have failed to be executed year after year, then adhere my advice.
Each day, you need to reflect on your business plan and each day you need to execute that plan until you begin to fully implement the necessary changes in the way you conduct your business. Once your plan starts taking effect, you will learn that change will stick as long as you do. Don't let stubbornness get in the way of your success.
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