Archive for April, 2011

Are You in Control of Your Business or is Your Business Controlling You?

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

by Ginny Speaks

As first quarter comes to a close, this is the question we should all ask ourselves as managers and sellers.

Now is the time to look at your yearly plan and review first quarter successes and failures to see how you are pacing.  This exercise will help you determine what is working and what is not in order to hit year end projections.

How am I pacing to hit my yearly goal? You should have at least 25% of your business goal closed to date to be on track.   If you are on track, stay the course and give yourself a big high five!  If you are behind, you need to look at your numbers and adjust.   Take your first quarter numbers and determine your average sale and closing ratio.  Then do the math.  How many closes do you need based on your average sale to hit your number?  Once you establish this number, then use your closing ratio to determine the amount of pitches you need to make between now and the end of the year.

What was my biggest success? This could be many things.  Did I stick to my calling schedule each week?  Did I close business in a new category?  Did I increase my average sale?  Did I close a fully integrated package that included social media?  Really delve into this question and determine how you can emulate this success into next quarter.  For instance, if you closed a deal in a new category, make a list of other leads or competitors in this category and become an expert in capturing business in this arena.

What was my biggest failure? Failures are great because that means you are pushing the envelope and we usually learn most from these.   Did you talk past the sale?  Did you spend too much time talking to non-decision makers?  Did you conduct a full needs analysis to determine solutions or are you still pitching packages?  Are you really listening to the client’s needs?  Are you prospecting 3 to 6 months out?

Am I calling on the right decision makers? Take a look at the decision makers you have been calling on and ask yourself if you are working with Regional Sales Managers, Regional Marketing Managers, Customer Marketing Managers or Field Marketing Managers, just to name a few.  If you are, you are probing and working the account deep and in the right area to capture non-traditional dollars.  If you find that you are still working mainly with buyers or agencies, you are missing out on pockets of money that are available to you.   Do not forget to work the brand and sales side of each business as this is the area that is growing exponentially.

Once you complete this exercise, focus on 3 things you learned that you can begin implementing immediately.

Success is a matter of choice and we all have the power within us to make a difference each and every day.  It is up to us to determine how high we can fly and how far we can run