This plan has been used for years by the majority of the executives I know. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Is your sales and marketing plan based on that template? If not, why not? If you use it, it will help you fine-tune your thoughts and make your overall objectives both measurable and accountable.
This is how it works:
- Whatever you set out to do, if you don’t have a specific plan based on a series of other specific plans – you won’t have a viable or workable plan.
- You need to be able to measure it either by Time, Money or Percentage – or by a combination of the three.
- It should never be out of your reach. It may be higher than expected by others, but never out of reach. A good rule of thumb is, set a relatively easily attainable target, then upgrade it by 10 or 20%.
- What is perceived to realistic to one is totally “off-the-wall” to another. Use the same rule of thumb to this sector as you would to the “Attainable” sector above.
- If it isn’t timely, it’s not for now.
The use of this mnemonic will help you fine-tune your thoughts and make each of your objectives measurable. As an example, your objective may be to “increase sales in New South Wales by 10% by December next year”.
The SMART plan will help you define this to the point where your new objective statement will read, “The New South Wales revised sales objective is to increase sales by 10% by December (Date Next year) through additional agencies and an increased advertising campaign to help those agents sell more local farmers through increased harvesting loads”.
But it shouldn’t have to stop at this point because the understanding of the selling process through the “Smart Plan” is just one process in a world of endless ways to keep prospects interested and focused – and hopefully before, during and after the presentation.
It also should be noted that we can learn multiple processes such as this, and although each are worthwhile in their own right, what makes from one to any number of these processes work is the way the salesperson delivers these at the appropriate time, with the understanding of how this will benefit the prospect. That is the most important factor, in this and other similar processes – the attitude of the salesperson. And while on this point, read on . . .
Don’t ever Settle for Second Best
Far too many sales organizations proprietors allow themselves to get in a position where they compromise. Then once they compromise in one aspect of their business, it becomes easy to compromise in another. Over time, every aspect of the selling process becomes compromised in some way, shape or form. The best way to avoid this, is to surround yourself with people of integrity.
Most high achievers are people of integrity – they don’t become high achievers without it. So surround yourself with the best, and most talented people you can find. But don’t just leave them to their own devices, infuse them with a good deal of vision (the vision you have for your business) and then encourage with more enthusiasm on a daily basis.
If you feel daily encouragement is a little ‘over the top’ for you, you may need to learn new and additional ways to encourage people. Encouragement to an employee is like a “fix to a junkie,” people get hooked on it – and the more they get, the more they want.
High Performance Selling is Just That
What is high performance selling? It’s simply above average production. In many cases no more than a fraction above the expected average. Racers win by hundreds of a second, jumpers win by very small margins indeed, yet they earn many times more than those coming second, third or fourth. Most competitions are won by very small margins, and the same applies to sales. If you only improved enough to be a fraction better than your competition, you too could earn many times more than those coming second, third or fourth.
Understand the True Value of Restraint
Restraint is perhaps one of your best allies when it comes to selling. Restraint will help you resist your natural urge to change things, but if you do and do it well, your customers (and prospects) will appreciate it.
However, the secret here is to make changes only when you feel they are absolutely necessary.
The reason for holding back on change is, your customers need to know they can rely on you, and if you’re constantly changing your message, your media and even how your customer base identifies with you, you’ll become too inconstant for most people. Constancy is a vital ingredient for those who want to project reliability.
This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 50 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 65 books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com