Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Take your time - Its a stew not a steak

One of the great business challenges of our age is 'Time Management'. I am a big fan and have far too many books and read far too many blogs on the subject. Experts explain about how to schedule and plan your time in a plethora of different ways. One group will preach about how critical it is to operate a 'To-Do' list, while another will tell you that the last thing you want to use is a 'To-Do' list. You will be told to operate a strategy of 'Do It Now' by some and others, that you should 'Do It Tomorrow'.

In a selling environment my advise is be willing to take your time - don't try and do things too quickly, particularly with regard to building relationships and understanding clients' needs. In high value, long sales cycles, what is the point of trying to cram all the elements necessary to win the business into a short time frame? Half the time the environment into which you are trying to sell will be a 'movable feast' anyway, so work at a pace that allows you to build strong relationships and understanding of needs, while at the same time having the flexibility to adapt to unforeseen developments and changes.

Think about identifying all the parallel tracks that you need to manage in order to secure the business and allocate time and target dates for each. In Time Management 'speak' create a Timeline Plan for each element and then let the whole process percolate, under your watchful eye as the chef.

Your cooking a stew that needs plenty of time and lots of different ingredients added at the right moment and in the right proportions - not frying a minute steak!

Ingredients might include;
Access to Power
Timelines Established
Budget Requirements
Engagement
Buying Process
Prospect Profile
Position
Perception
Proof Points
Core Values
Adoption Probability
Solution Alignment
Competition
Contract Negotiations
Up selling

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