I find Monday a dangerous day. Monday arrives and I know what I need to do and what I have planned, yet sometimes I find myself just allowing the week to start and ‘see what
happens’. Next thing I know it is Friday and things I planned to achieve have slipped away.
Stephen Hawking, in his Discovery Channel feature ‘The Meaning of Life’, talks about two sets of rules in any game. There are the laws of the game which govern the size and shape of the playing field, the size and makeup of a ball, the scoring system and other rules which players are judged by. These laws are changeable and evolve as time goes on.
Then there is the second set of rules which are unchangeable. These are the laws of physics. For example, when you kick or hit a ball in a certain way it will always, and without fail, move according to these rules. You get the same result as someone in ancient Greece got and someone millennium into the future will get.
This got me to thinking about my Mondays, business and sales situations. In every business interaction there are fixed unchangeable rules of selling which determine how a decision will be made as well as other variable rules of a sales game.
Loose Focus and Nature Sets a New Goal
In the movie ‘Apollo 13’ Jim Lovell says, as they turned everything off in the space capsule, “We just put Sir Isaac Newton in the driver’s seat”. The three astronauts let go of control and the laws of nature took effect.
Here is a vital lesson in business and sales, and indeed in every part of life. When you decide to do nothing you still get a result. That result, however, is based on the unchanging rules of the universe.
Captain Smith of the Titanic had a plan and strategy he was following for the ships maiden voyage. This plan followed the rules and guidelines of sound maritime practice and engineering to break in a new ocean liner. Bruce Ismay, Chairman of the White Star line, wanted a blaze of publicity by exceeding their goals and arriving a day early. He convinced the captain to put aside the strategy and plan. The unrelentingly certain laws of nature, however, did not change leading to a tragic end.
As a business leader or sales person you create strategy based on sound business practices framed by the rules and guidelines of the country you operate in. You execute plans based on this strategy and expect certain results.
With good planning and execution it is easy to think you are in control of your destiny. Like when you play a game it is easy to forget there a second set of laws at work underlining the strategy and planning which you have no control over.
When business and sales strategy are in harmony with the laws of nature a business moves ahead. It is when they are at odds they struggle.
Once nature sets a new course, it takes a BIG effort to turn around
Careful planning and execution of strategy are fundamental to achieving goals. Observing the business environment, networking and listening to others, observing results and adjusting along the way will tell you if there is an iceberg ahead.
Setting the rules and maintaining momentum is fundamental to achieving your goals
As a business leader or sales person it is your responsibility to provide the vision, put in the energy and bring opportunities out of the dock into the shipping lane ready to go.
To get the vessel out of the dock you plan your strategy and execute your plan. If you just fire up the engines the laws of nature will have the vessel beached before it has a chance to get going. Making sure the fuel bunkers are full, careful use of tugs, moving carefully into deeper water are all part of the plan.
Momentum requires getting the right team together and ensuring everyone is working towards the same goals at the same speed. Here are a few tips for building and maintaining that momentum.
Today’s Question and Action
Do you have a strategy in place with clear business and sales goals? Do you know what you need to achieve this week? This month? this quarter and this year? “I want to increase sales by year’s end” is not a plan. Be specific like;
- This week we will discover three new opportunities
- Each month we will have 2 ‘new name’ customers
- Our quotes to order ratio will exceed 50% by the end of the year
- product ‘ABC’ moves to first place in shipped quantities
- The average order size will exceed $50,000
Even if you work on your own it is just as important to celebrate. Celebrating wins consistently reduces the chance of losing momentum and allowing the laws of nature to take over.
Have a great week!