I am going to rant a little bit in this week’s blog folks. For those of you that have followed me for a while, you know I usually try to keep it cool and find the learning or coaching opportunity from any event. This week though, I want to just let it all out there and hopefully come out with lesson. The lesson is about PLANNING.
The title of this week’s article is the 5 P’s … For those of you that have read my book, you know what those are. And for those that haven’t got read it yet, the 5 P’s stand for – Proper – Planning – Prevents – Poor – Performance. The question that goes along with this week’s article is; Why can’t people understand this basic concept? Why do some people, and some even in management, just think things will happen because they are supposed to? Yes, in principle a lot of things happen because they are supposed to, but for a request to become an action and for that action to be executed, some type of planning must take place.
I have gone through my career with these 5 p’s in mind every day. I want to perform at a high level, and even if it’s not the ‘highest’ level, I want to avoid poor performance at all costs. When given a request for any task, before I accept and confirm that task, I look at what other things I have promised already. What are the priorities? Who is affected if I move or change these priorities? And so on down the line. Sometimes we accept tasks knowing that someone else is going to be disappointed with the decision we made. However, if that is the case, it is your responsibility to notify the other person that something is going to be late or not completed at all. When you accept a task knowing that other things are going to suffer, you shouldn’t just wait until the day after a task was due to let people know it’s late. You need to make the call when you know it’s not going to happen.
Yes, that is a huge run-on rant, and my 9th grade teacher English teacher will be upset with the sentence structure. But, the point of the 5 P’s is that we plan, we review, we look at consequences of our actions and decisions and take the most appropriate steps.
As sales professionals, we know we have one thing in the end … it’s our credibility. We need to ‘say what we will do, then do what we say’. It’s a pretty simple concept. We also know to under promise and over deliver. Unfortunately for us in some cases, we have support staff or management, which never really feel the heat of the customer, and therefore don’t quite follow this line of thinking. Promise dates for executed actions are mere suggestions or generalities to them. What difference does it make in the grand scheme of things if they delivery on Friday, what was promised for Tuesday? Our credibility, that’s what!
For those of you in sales that are reading this, I’m sure you all have examples of your own when dealing with support groups that don’t follow through on plans. Or that they change priorities without you knowing. I’m here to say that we need to prepare for this behavior in our planning. If micromanaging those individuals are necessary, then do it. If you trust them to meet the timing, then do that. But before you convey a promise date for an action that you are not handling directly on your own, make sure you understand where you are getting that information, and how reliable it really is.
In the end, we are ultimately responsible for those promises. In other words, and I hate to even say it, plan for other people not planning!
If you are having trouble working with teams and getting planning done properly, our group at Pinnacle Sales can help your team with that. Please give us a call or send us a mail. We offer “Service Above the Rest”.
Pinnacle Sales, LLC
418 Main Street, Suite 6
Belleville, MI 48111
Pinnacle Sales is an agency that offers support to clients in any part of the sales & marketing process. From planning to implementation, business development to training.