You have a project to get done, or a business to start, or a division within your company to turn around … or maybe you just want to lose a few pounds!
We ALL have “stuff” that we want to get done … but way too often it never happens!
The project goes off the rails, the “start up” fails … or you just keep adding pounds instead of taking them off.
Here is what you need to do … in 3 Steps!
1. PLAN. Everything starts with a plan and a plan can be VERY simple.
a. The first thing in your plan needs to be a goal, or some goals. They should be achievable within a fairly short period of time … a week, a month, no longer than a quarter.
b. The next thing in the plan is a set of action items (mini goals) designed to meet the plan. There should be no doubts about who is doing what and by when!
If you are starting a business then perhaps your goal will be to generate $X in the first quarter (if your sales cycle is longer, then the goal might be to identify Y prospects and qualify them into the funnel in the first quarter).
The action items might involve some research, some prospect identification, a large number of phone calls, some meetings and some positive follow-on to those meetings. That might look like this:
Action item #1. Joe will identify the contact people in 100 companies over the next 2 weeks;
Action item #2. Mary and Joe will set up 25 meetings by the end of the quarter.
Action Item#3. Mary and Joe will identify 10 real prospects by end of this quarter.
Action Item #4. Mary will identify the next 100 contact people in potential clients by the end of the quarter.
Action item #5. VP Sales will accompany Mary and/or Joe on second meetings with clients in month 3 (or earlier) … times to be planned.
2. ACTION. This is where the rubber hits the road … the team starts to execute on THE PLAN.
3. Review, Measure and Adjust. At regular intervals it is important to ensure things are on track, understand what is working and what is not working and then adjust the PLAN, and ACTION the new plan. This is an iterative process, such that at the end of each review period the plan is adjusted to improve the likelihood of success.
eg. If at the end of the first quarter some of the goals are not met then we can identify why not and “course correct” etc. Are the messages right? Are we calling the right people? Do we need more help? Are the goals achievable? etc.
This leads to a new action plan … and the next review period might lead to more lessons learned, and a further refinement to the plan etc.
A focus on goals, clear assignment of responsibilities and a clear timeline will increase the likelihood of success … the only ingredient to add is hard work!