Sales Strategy: Success is in the Details

(Blog #17 in the ongoing series derived from a book Harris DeWese wrote several years ago—“A Year of Selling Profitably.”)

These blogs on planning are boring.

I’m bored writing them.

I’ll bet you are bored reading them.

My Bloginator Boss, Big Daddy Smith, just called and said, “Mañana, all this planning stuff is boring, and several readers have reported nodding off at their desks. One guy fell face down in his corn flakes and damn near drowned in the milk. We can’t risk that kind of liability. Can you please write stuff that is more entertaining and exciting for our readers?”

OK. He’s paying me three cents per word, so maybe I can liven things up a little.

The previous blog was about strategy, or the “how” to achieve the objectives that you set for yourself. Strategy is where planning must become very specific. Each strategy must be “planned” with step-by-step actions, due dates and assigned responsibility.

Maybe the best way to demonstrate strategy is to write a detailed action plan for one of the strategies from the previous blog.

We wrote a strategy that went, “I will create a database of information about 40 qualified buyers.” So your action plan should look like this:

DeWese blog 17 chart

You can see that by June 30, you will have written maybe 40-50 action plans and that you will be bored sick. But you now have a plan, and you must revive yourself to begin selling the 40 prospects—assuming you still have 40.

You may now have 60, since you found more to add to your database. If that’s the case, you are a winner. If, on the other hand, you have narrowed the list down to 20, you will likely never make it as a print salesperson and should consider taking the civil service exam to become a forest ranger. That’s a noble calling with no customers to fret aboug, just bears.

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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