Making Sales Your Personal Mission

(Blog #13 in the ongoing series derived from a book Harris DeWese wrote several years ago—“A Year of Selling Profitably.” The book was written for printers to use as a guide in training their sales teams through a series of two-hour sessions over 48 weeks.)

In this session, you will begin to develop individual sales plans for the balance of 2011. If you believe that you already have a plan in place, I hope you will come to understand that static plans are worthless. Planning should be a moving target that you are constantly fixing, refining, improving and embellishing. This process inevitably leads to more successful plans.

In today’s exercise, you will begin to develop your individual sales plan and, at the same time, have the chance to improve your planning skills. You will begin by writing a personal mission statement.

The second step will be listing your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your company and your competitors.

Next, you will begin to develop sales objectives based on your assessment of those strengths and weaknesses.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.”—Naploeon Hill

I have quoted the late Napoleon Hill, renowned author and public speaker, to remind you that you will need paper and pencil or, preferably, your laptop to record your planning work in these sessions. This reminds me of another famous man who, when questioned about what he was doing, said, “I’m just preparing my impromptu remarks.” You should be able to guess that remark was uttered by Sir Winston Churchill, one of my historic heroes.

Exercise I
(60 minutes)

Better planning inevitably leads to better customer service, more persuasive sales presentations and, finally, more face-to-face time with buyers—a winning combination. Salespeople and companies that have embraced a formal, yet flexible, approach to guiding their own destinies will be the wealthy salespeople and the high-profit firms that will be the survivors. Even rookie salespeople recognize that, in many respects, sales in our industry is “warfare”—and the battle is for high stakes.

Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.

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