90% of relationships fail due to unmet expectations. Unmet expectations are a result of not communicating one’s expectations clearly, concisely and congruently. What does that mean? More importantly, what does that look like?
If we think in terms of dating, man seeks woman who … and woman seeks man who… If only life were that simple. What happens in most cases is that each person’s expectations, hopes dreams and assumptions, are in fact not put on the table at the outset, and sometimes never see the light of day. Sooner or later, in every relationship, business or personal, it – failure to communicate – will always bite us in the proverbial backside, leaving those involved feeling down-hearted, disappointed and often downright angry that things just didn’t go the way they expected.
Why not? I’m sure we’ve all heard these rhetorical defenses: … How was I supposed to know… ? You never said that you wanted … I thought you meant … And nowhere is this heard more often than from sales reps trying to explain what went wrong or why they’re not hitting their numbers or doing the behaviours you thought they were going to to.
As Bob Newhart so uproariously states in his video JUST STOP IT!, one way you can (start stopping) is by establishing a sales meeting agenda that does just that – stops the rhetoric and gets to what the real it should be, the numbers. The number one goal in sales meetings is to know the numbers, which means tracking changes week to week, knowing what happened and why, and ensuring that everyone either celebrates the wins or learns from their losses, and then moves forward.
Rule number one: keep it simple. Rule number two: remember rule number one.
Make it quick and easy to consistently input data by setting up a template. Excel works great for this. Some of you may even have a CRM set up to export the information.
As an owner or business manager, the following items are what you can and should expect every member of your sales, business development and account management team to provide you with on any given day or, at the very least, quickly summarize with you and your team on a weekly basis.
1. Changes from last week – what happened? why?
2. Jobs completed – value and timeline
3. Jobs won – value and timeline
4. Jobs lost – why?
5. Sales forecasted for coming week– strategy, value, timeline
Barbara Ashton is a senior recruitment professional and owner of Ashton & Associates Recruiting Inc. Her background spans over 30 years in headhunting and recruitment, sales and marketing.
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