Why are some companies leaders in their industry while others are always playing catch-up? Why do some sales managers lead their sales teams to unparalleled success while others are still mulling over sales figures? Why do some salespeople close sales consistently and almost effortlessly, while others struggle to find an opportunity?
Is the answer skill? Education? Knowledge? Having the inside track? Luck, perhaps? No! The answer is really rather straightforward: Some people plan how to act—and then do—while others are still planning.
Planning and action are not mutually exclusive events. Once your “action” plan is implemented, you can make adjustments—refinements—based on your results. Redefining and refining your plan before taking any action is like unpacking, rearranging items, and repacking your suitcase before taking a trip. It’s tedious and time-consuming work—figuring out how to most efficiently fit the most items into limited space—but it doesn’t get you any closer to your destination.
Keep a few things in mind when creating your plan for action:
- A new product design doesn’t have to be perfect before you begin prototyping.
- A market expansion strategy doesn’t have to be perfect before salespeople begin implementing it.
- A prospecting approach doesn’t have to be perfect before it’s implemented.
- No plan or design can be perfect without first being tried and tested.
- Success doesn’t start with a perfect plan… just a plan, followed by action, evaluation, and adjustments as necessary.
Execution without planning is foolhardy. But, planning without execution is failure.
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