Hope is not a strategy, it helps, encourages motivation and inspiration, but it is not a success driven strategy.

This piece is for the professional sales person and business manager or leader. The topic title is about strategic thinking and planning for your daily success. Here's the key to this topic, never begin your day until it's been completed on paper! One minute of planning can save you ten minutes of unmanaged time and allow for more sales time. Hope is good, healthy and you've got to have hope for a better future. There is a quote that states; if there is hope for a better future there is power today to get you there. In sales hope can keep you moving forward but a strategic plan for the day, week or month can get you results.

While coaching and training sales professionals and groups we discuss the "strategic sales pie" which is the breakdown of where the business is coming from; example from my last coaching session with a Insurance Agent; 15% referral, 40% inbound calls, 20% marketing reply, 5% website inquires, 10% networks, 10% other. The objective was to look for more strategic ways to plan for a faster results focused plan, such as; 35% referral, 10% website inquires, 30% inbound calls, 25% networks, the key was to plan the days events around making new contacts through networking, and reconnecting with existing customers to build on the referral side of the business. Hope for a successful plan is great, but developing a sales plan, and then the what and how on paper through strategic thinking and planning and putting into action daily goals is the key.

I guess you can hit the pavement hoping to get some business, having lunch with people you know that may connect you with someone who may buy into your programs, hoping that you'll get a call from your website or the phone book, or hoping that someone may call you out of the wild blue to give you the order for the day. As a sales trainer, the process is where the fulfillment begins, the chase, the discovery, the planning, the daily wins based upon the plan. That's were the rubber hits the pavement, that's the excitement I see with very successful sales professionals.

It's in the will and the skill, the skill can be taught, the will comes from the passion, the drive, the execution of the plan. Don't base your day on hope, find a mentor, hire a coach, I know a good one! learn to enjoy the process of planning your day. Hope is not a strategy, there is nothing wrong with the gifts from above, the call that comes in on a slow day, the big order that falls into your lap. All good, but as sales professionals and business leaders we can't base the forecast, the business plan on hope. We need a plan, then we need the will to put the plan into action, then the ability to make u-turns, adjustments to the plan, and know when we've hit the wall.

I hope you complete your day on paper before you begin your next sales day, develop the plan, see the plan come alive, acknowledge any obstacles, and any objections that may come and be ready, complete the days sales plan, see the rewards, count the commission, then get out there and go to work!

Good selling and planning to you today!

The Sales Development Pro