So here it is mid-February 2021. Some six weeks into the new year. How are you doing? Great salespeople take time to review their personal sales plan. What’s working? What hasn’t gone according to plan? Take an inventory of recent successes and failures. How do those compare to what you had anticipated for this year?
Refine Your Vision
There is a lyric from the song Happy Talk in the Musical South Pacific: “You gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?”
Vision or dream, whatever you call it, how you want to see the future is important. Your sales plan is written to make your dream come true. Take time every couple of months or so to reflect on and revise your vision. How long has it been since you wrote your vision? Yes wrote it! Of course it’s nice to have the dream but when you commit it to paper something happens. It might be magical but those who have taken the time to write out the vision and step-by-step goals to achieve it are those who succeed. The vision and goals are the substance of your personal sales plan.
Predict The Future
I don’t mean be a savant. Get a sense of what is expected in your markets for the coming year. Talk to centers of influence in the markets you target. Check in with your customers to see what their plans are for surviving or maybe even thriving in another year of COVID uncertainty. Are there new prospects in your market created by the COVID pandemic? Can you see weaknesses in the competition you can exploit? Will your company be rolling out new products or services? How will these affect your personal sales plan? Great salespeople have their finger on the pulse of their market.
Take A Personal Selling Skills Inventory
The best sales people are always working on personal improvement. Over the past year did you increase competence in selling? Which techniques improved? As you look back over the COVID affected sales plan in 2020, what could you have done better? Which selling skills need improvement? Are there changes in the product mix you sell? What new skills will be needed to sell the new products? Write a personal improvement plan to insure you meet your personal goals.
Check In With Your Mentor
Now is the time to get with your mentor again. Mentors are valuable to salespeople. If you don’t have one get one. Look for someone either within your company or in your network who has an interest in seeing you become successful. A mentor has the experience and wisdom of years and can help you see aspects of your professional life invisible to you. Ask your mentor to review your goals and the plan to achieve them. A good mentor will challenge you on the various aspects of your role in achieving the goals in the sales plan.
Thank Your Customers
Great salespeople let their customers know how much they appreciate their business. This is a good time to also check to see they are still pleased with you and your company. If they have concerns, take care of them immediately. If they are glad to be doing business with you ask for referrals.
What You Can Do Right Now About Keeping Your Sales Plan On Track
- Periodically take time to review your progress
- Be aware of the changing marketplace
- Keep up your personal selling skills improvement
To learn more sales secrets about your sales plan, see Chapter Eighteen, Setting Your Goals, in Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling. For even more sales help, join our FREE Sales Club! “See” you next week.