Professor Jacques Horovitz of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) recently wrote a piece titled “Keeping an Eye on the Big Picture: 10 Rules for Getting Things Done. The article was intended to guide business leaders to getting things done in their company but it also applies to business development professionals as well.
Here are the 10 Rules, edited for Guess Free Selling disciples:
- If it’s not on the calendar, it won’t happen-you need to have a plan for the day, the week, the month, the quarter, and the year. And you need to avoid distractions that could take you off the plan
- Focus on the follow-through-each planned activity needs follow through to the end. If there were five prospecting calls scheduled then don’t let three poor results deter you from completing the other two.
- No Project Owner means no progress-you are the project owner and need to be a self-starter. Even the best plan will fail if you don’t take the responsibility for it.
- Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize-this is BIG; few people have all the time they need and out of necessity are constantly balancing and rebalancing priorities. The key to successful execution is choosing the important tasks –, the high value high impact tasks that lead you to achieve your objective rather than the urgent tasks which often can be left for later. The other critical tool here is delegation: if you do not have to do a task personally assign it to someone else.
- Initiate: It gains time-get stated, get it done, and move on. Remember, as a salesperson you are a self-starter by nature, you should be intrinsically self-motivated.
- Skip the boasting until the final decision is reached-when is a sale a sale? When it is the check clears! While there are smaller “sales of the moment along the way, for example getting a meeting with a prospect, getting commitment for the next steps, or making a presentation, these are steps to the final agreement. You’ve got to keep the momentum going until the deal if really done.
- Question everything-this is right out of the GFS process step, Investigation. You must have the courage to ask the uncomfortable The Reality Testing Questions (RTQ), to put the “Why-Not’s” in the way, to go to uncover the truth, and at all times to be listening for what they’re really saying, not just the words.
- When in doubt, decide– decisiveness is better than procrastination because movement brings next steps, and that is what moves the decision process.
- Create new routines-we easily fall into the trap of following a comfortable routine that does not getting us to our objective. Remember Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity-doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Get uncomfortable, stretch.
- Know your second-best solution-that key contact you have at a prospect or customer may leave and you need to be prepared with a backup. Make the effort to go beyond the single point of contact and learn the organization.