It's been a great summer!
Sure, like you, I've had way too much work, a couple of speedbumps here and there, the cancelled long-planned August trip back to Tanzania, and, of course, today the reality of the seasonal rhythm that shuts that door hard on the summa of '23! Different from my buddy, Red, whose comic strip I read whenever I can, the fall is a great time to be back at work and at school, to be healthy and looking forward to the busiest time in any business year,
Today we move from cruising speed with four-day weeks and long weekends to 100mph as we look out at the highway which now takes us directly to yearend four months from now. A wicked exciting time for us as business managers in general and especially as salespeople!
What have we learned so far in 2023:
No Recession! I've been beating this drum of no recession since the summa' of '22 but could not back up my forecasts with financial facts that would counter the economists. The facts then and even more so now are that the unemployment rate was and continues to be too low and the demand for workers much too high to allow for a recession. Inflation has been checked for a long list of reasons, not the least of which is that experienced business managers are not stupid, and high borrowing rates and general caution have tamped down spending. Personally, I rack up a lot of the recession talk to media hype-the numbing negativism of Larry Summers included!
Time to do a critical check-up!
I need to be at MassGeneral first thing at 8:00 tomorrow for a quick check-up on the health of my voice. From a latent but lagging infection in April to the loss of my voice in May (not good for a consultant and professor), I've been on a training regimen to get back to where I need to be. I know the problem. I can't ignore it, and I know the fix which requires the daily discipline of specific training exercises, and the problem goes away.
No different in our own businesses. With four more months to go, it's the perfect time of year for an objective checkup of our own business health!
- What are the high focus issues slowing us down?
- Where could we do better to beat the 2023 plan?
- What's the short-term training we need right now?
- What are the specific sales or marketing tools we need by the end of this month?
1. Bring the team together early next week for a September-December checkup. This is not a strategy session; it's about tactics and defining clarity on who owns what for the next 100 days. This is a two-hour tactical meeting focused on specific definitions of the critical objectives for December, and who owns what. This is not a solutions meeting since if it were to be that, those solutions would already be in place.
2. Bring everyone back together one week later with the details of the solutions and what changes need to be made in the short term: Process? Skills? Training? Expense shift? And most importantly, the specific clarity on who owns what along with a weekly review schedule which you should be able to tack on to your already existing management or sales reviews.
Part of the success of this simple tactic is its objectivity and its speed over the next two weeks plus your team's ability to quickly respond with tactical fixes focused specifically on the next 100 workdays.
Summa's over, and it's time to hit the ground running...and please remember...no more talk about recession and other things over which we have no control! In fact, if you think about that for just a minute, we really cannot control any results; all we can control are our own activities and specific tactics that get us to our objectives that, in turn, get us to our planned results.
HAVE A GREAT DAY SELLING TODAY
Just a quick note on the best of best in selling today! All it takes is discipline, the right tools, a powerful team behind you...and a personal love of winning!
2023 SALES PLANNING
Check out our updated sales productivity site page. Just page down to get our new edition of Writing the Winning Sales Plan for 2023.
Or you can just email me, and I'll send you a free copy. Connect with me at any time for some quick ideas and feedback. There's never a cost for a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about Sales & Marketing.