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Sales Commandment 4: Plan for a Crisis (and everything else)
Guest articles > Sales Commandment 4: Plan for a Crisis (and everything else)
by: Daniel Milstein
All salespeople must have short and long-term plans. I'm not talking about a few goals written on a scrap of paper, but rather a formal plan that outlines target audiences, goals, strategies and measurement techniques. Of course, it starts with establishing basic goals.
In a study done at Harvard University more than 40 years ago, researchers polled the graduating class of 1953 to find out how many students actually had clearly written specific goals and a plan for achieving them. They were surprised to discover that in this class of highly intelligent people attending one of the world's most prestigious universities, only three percent had taken the time to write their goals.
Even more significant, about 20 years later, when researchers checked back to see how the same group of graduates was doing, it seems that the three percent of the students who had written down their goals had accumulated more wealth than the other 97 percent of their class combined. They also found that these people seemed healthier and happier than their classmates.
You need to monitor your plans, goals and strategies regularly and make the appropriate modifications as the situation changes or your target audiences expand. For example, when I started out, I focused on emerging markets. However, that now accounts for less than five percent of my business. My target audience changed and I needed to adapt my marketing plan accordingly. You should also include a five and 10-year planning component. I never thought our company would be this size, so I've updated our 10-year plan several times. In today's more volatile market environment, you have to be more nimble, able to continually adapt your plan to meet new opportunities and obstacles. You also need to plan for contingencies, and a disaster preparedness plan is essential. For example, what will you do if the market collapses or if there is a slump in your own industry?
As you progress in your career the sales environment will change, your target market will change, your plans and goals will change, and you have to be able to adapt appropriately. You need to look beyond next month's or next year's income and determine the best route to long-term success during both 'good and bad' market conditions.
Daniel Milstein is the bestselling author of ABC of Sales. For more information, visit: http://amzn.to/ABCARTICLES.
Contributor: Daniel Milstein
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