Monday, May 23, 2005

Ready, Set, Go

Many people in sales and marketing jobs spend too much time on preparation. We make plans, set goals, conduct market research and study the competition. We conduct client surveys and write detailed plans that, if executed on properly, would lead us to unparalleled successes. While all this planning is imporant, it is not action. It is taking action that leads to us to getting our companies higher recognition in the business community. It is execution on our plans that brings more revenue.

I am not saying that you should not plan. If you tried to build a house without a set of blueprints, the final product would be a mess. It would be condemmed before you got the opportunity to move in. You have to have a plan and you need to pour a strong foundation, but after that is done, you must get to work wacking nails with a hammer in order to see real progress.

We are all guilty of spending too much time on the internet trying to understand a prospect's industry or doing other types of planning activities. My suggestion is that you take at least one day every week and make it "Action Day". This can be any day of the week. You can waste time rationalizing why Monday is not a good day for this, or why Wednesday would be superior, but that is just another excuse to avoid taking action . The truth is that we can over annalyze "Action Day" just as we can every other activity in our work life. This is not something that you need to invest more time in the preparation. This is about doing. To steal a line for Nike...."Just Do It!"

Why not make today "Action Day"? Clear your schedule, get off the computer and just decide to take action in your marketing and business development goals. Regardless of your industry or job title, make today that day where you will go out and accomplish something. Anything.

If you are in sales, decided that today you are going to make thirty calls to clients and prospects? Would anything positive come from that? I know a salesperson named "Dale" (I am changing his name because to this day he spends so much time surfing the web, that he will probably run across this blog) who would need about seventy hours of preparation time to make thirty calls. He seems to invest three hours researching before he ever picks up the phone. My guess is that he would have more success if he simply made the calls.

If you are in a marketing role, why don't you use today to complete some of those projects that have been piling up on your desk. Get going on the re-write for the website or the new product brochure. If you cannot do it yourself, use today to finally hire the freelance writer and get the project moving. Mary, a marketing director, always has about three projects in her "to do" file that never seem to get rolling. If she just got them started, she could see them to completion.

For a PR professional, make today the day you contact business writers that cover your industry and pitch your story ideas, or simply get to know them better. Why not find out what the criteria is for submitting guest articles to a business journal. You know you have been planning to do this, so do it today.

Tomorrow will be here soon enough, make today count. Then schedule a day each week that has no room for planning, and only time for action

Have a great day.

Thom Singer

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