Name a couple of successful people you know or admire. Perhaps athletes, entertainers, racers, motivational speakers, sales professionals, or leaders come to mind. What do you think they all have in common? They PREPARE!
Preparation separates the “Haves” from the “Have-nots”! We’re not fooling anyone when we’re not prepared! Not our bosses, our colleagues, our teams, and especially not our customers. Lack of Preparation rarely goes unnoticed.
Have you seen the commercial about the salesman having dinner with his client? The more he jabbers on, the wider his tie gets. Eventually, his tie gets so wide that it resembles that of a clown, obviously portraying him as a fool who has no confidence in his own message.
What are the signs of being unprepared?
- Lack of Clear Objective
- Scattered Focus or Lack Thereof
- Lack of Confidence
- Lucky or Poor results
How many times have we shown signs of not preparing through our thoughts or words after a call or meeting? Do any of these sound familiar?
Oh darn, I meant to tell them….!
What did I just fail to accomplish?
I should of, could of, would of………
Some people think planning is for beginners, an elementary exercise. Let me introduce you to the P6 mantra. I recommend you cut the following line out and post it on your mirror or computer monitor:
P6: Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
This allows you to accurately identify THE objective of your call. For most people, this means being data driven! Collect internal and external data. Are their referrals up or down? How can you uncover their needs by properly preparing in advance? Use social media. Google them and their staff. Review their website. Discover everything you can about your customer so you’re properly prepared to go way beyond the questions that make us look unprepared and unprofessional!
Don’t wait until 5 minutes or 5 seconds before “show time”! Give yourself enough time to really identify and analyze all the information needed to maximize your call, and more importantly, maximize the investment of time your customer has given you so hopefully this won’t be your last time with them! If your definition of “prior” means preparing “on the fly,” you’re selling yourself as unprepared and unpolished! Those aren’t words that describe a champion!
When you do only the bare minimum, you can expect the bare minimum! Preparation separates the mediocre from the GREAT! Get a preparation routine. I bet you could recite your morning routine with a little effort. Make preparation as faithful a routine as brushing your teeth.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Preparing helps to identify potential land mines or the rough waters, so that we can take preventative measures prior to the call. Rough water is no place to check to see if you packed a life preserver.
YOU… if you don’t learn to prepare! Poor preparation = poor performance = poor results! Let’s lose this word for any possible description of our performance or results!
All eyes on YOU! Think of every call as a world-class performance. Don’t bring the circus to town by looking like a circus clown! Strive for peak performance every single time!
Adding to the Ten Commandments
If there were an 11th commandment, it would not be about planning. It would have something to do with eating a Krispie Cream doughnut a day. BUT, if there were a 12th commandment – it would definitely be about Preparation.
Secrets & Tools
What are some of your planning secrets?
My secret weapon is a pre-call planning worksheet. It gets me prepared and keeps me focused!
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