One of the corniest slogans in sales training, you used to hear it all the time and maybe you still do, is this one: Plan your work and work your plan. I’ve heard it a hundred times at least. But let me tell you something that I have learned in my years in this business. That is the best advice you can get. I am not joking. What I am saying is that the way to get the job done is to take some time every morning and decide what you are going to do that day. And then you must do it.
I don’t believe in hard work. I believe in good work. I believe in smart work. I believe in effective work—work that works. The value of having a plan is to keep yourself moving and keeping the flow of prospects coming in. One of the most important aspects of your plan is to prioritize your to-do list in your planner. Even when you have to change plans, you still get a lot of momentum by having a plan in the first place. Attitude planning is as much a part of planning your selling day as anything else. If you know exactly what you intend to do first thing in the morning, that knowing motivates a lot more than an attitude of wait and see. I don’t know anything that gets me closer to that first sale of the day than the plan I make every morning.
I know where I’m going and what I’m going to do. And whether or not the whole thing changes the minute I walk into the office doesn’t matter. Because I came in with motivation, with assurance that I had an important reason for being there. And that is a most important reason for planning your work—even if you can’t work out every (or any) detail of your plan that day. Organize a plan of action that keeps you focused on winning. It is critical that you keep your train of thought focused on the task at hand and not drift into unnecessary distractions. Then finish your day with a review of everything you did to see how good your plan was and how realistic it was.
All of us work pretty hard a lot of the time. But the question, as I have said, isn’t how hard we work but how well. So if you planned to make ten phone calls and made only five, did you work your plan for those five? That is the kind of thing you want to ask yourself when you review your day. This is the kind of question that really gives you the measure of your motivation and of your effectiveness as a professional. Success comes faster to those who plan for it. Plan your work. Work your plan. Do it!
Photo Credits- John Apsey