Towards the end of 2012 I was doing a few handyman jobs around the house. This particular day I missed my step on the ladder. I started bumping into things I would normally have avoided and noticed my left eye was having trouble focusing. This developed over time to a state where, no matter what I did, I couldn’t see anything but a blur.
Today I am having some surgery on that eye which, I am assured, will bring back my 20:10 vision. This got me thinking, however, about vision and how important it is, in business as in life.
People buy from people they believe have a similar world view to them
John Patterson, founder of the National Cash Register Company (NCR), while known for his benevolence was also a hardworking aggressive businessman. The saying most often attributed to him is “Before you try to convince anyone else, be sure you are convinced, and if you cannot convince yourself, drop the subject”
Patterson engaged a sales person by the name of Joseph Crane. Crane’s sales approach embraced Patterson’s philosophy and changed sales forever. He would walk into a retail store and start talking to the owner about their store and how best to generate profits. He asked about the problems the owner had and related to them his own experience as a retailer, how he overcame the problems and the payback he achieved. He then invited them to a demonstration where he would close by asking for the order. The process worked so well it was enshrined as the NCR ‘primer’ and became a model for sales training for the next seventy years.
NCR Sales people were hired and fired on their ability to follow and deliver the primer script. Successful NCR salespeople believed in what they sold and were able to convince their prospects they understood their business problems or ‘world view’. They could see their product delivering a solution to a business problem
Recession proofing a business
John Scott, founder of Remington Office Products, was asked about how he managed to grow his business during the depths of the 1930′s recession. “While other sales people are gathering together telling stories of how bad things are I talked with business people about how good things could be”, he said. What Scott did was to share his infectious vision while everyone else hid. Perhaps the total market was smaller, however, Scott got most of it.
Is your vision empowering you?
The concept of the ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ (BHAG) was introduced by Collins and Porras in 1994. While having grand goals is important, these tend to be a rallying to the flag type goal based more on emotion rather than substance.
Take a moment and think about the one goal you are currently working towards right now – not a BHAG, but which specific goal are you working on right now? If you do not know, or can’t directly relate your current activity to a goal you are not alone. In fact, most people, even with a well defined BHAG, find it difficult to relate specific activities to the achievement of a goal.
Right now business conditions are a bit challenging so I am investing a lot of time prospecting. While I have very specific billing and revenue goals (my BHAG) these will only be achieved if I have opportunities to close. To support these goals I break them down to daily and weekly goals. Here are some of my specific goals;
- Each evening I select 20 names of people in my network and call at least 10 of them the next day
- I have a target list of accounts. I select a number of key people in these accounts I have never spoken to before, do a bit of research and call at least one person on this list every day.
- Every afternoon I review all my calls and update my opportunity file, create a list of at least one follow-up action for each opportunity and decide where that opportunity sits in my sales funnel.
These may sound simple goals. Achieving these very specific achievable goals every day, however, is a powerful motivator. Coach’s in every field of human endeavour set these types of daily and weekly goals for motivation. In business and sales it is just as important.
So, is vision important? There is nothing more satisfying than reflecting on the day and seeing your goals being reached. More importantly, if these goals are set to achieve your Big Hairy Audacious Goals you have the satisfaction of knowing all is well.
Today’s question and actions
Do you have a well defined vision of who you are and what you want to achieve? To maintain your energy here are some things to consider;
- Break down what you need to do every day and every week to make your vision a reality
- What are you doing each day to recharge you three energy sources – your chemical, emotional and mental energy
- How are you rewarding yourself for your daily and weekly wins?
Maintaining a vision is difficult, yet vital, for success. Establishing your own strategies to maintain it will drive the energy in your life for success.
Have a great week!