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People don't plan to fail - they just fail to plan!

By jamesheidema - Posted on 20 December 2013

People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan!

Here is a nine-step process to ensure you have a more successful 2014.

Step 1
Gather together all your information for each month of 2013, including all your activities and all of your results. The more detail you have of your current situation, the better!

Step 2 - Activities
Now that you have gathered together all the Activity information about your activities in the past 12 months, take time to sort the information into categories based on Activities like marketing, promotion, prospecting, telephone calls, appointments made and appointments kept! Be honest!

Step 3 - Results
Now that you have gathered together all the Results information about your results in the past 12 months, take time to sort the information into categories based on Results like sales by products, sales by services, number of sales, volume of sales, income sources, monthly and annual income! Be honest and fully analyze your results!

Step 4 - Assessment
Now that you have information about your activities and results for the past 12 months, take time to assess where you we were effective and what you need to change! Break your activities into categories. What systems, processes and tools did you use and were they effective. A system is the four quadrants of your business, and they are Business Management, Activity Management, Market Development and Sales Process. A process is what you say and do in each system. A tool is something you show to the potential client or use to track your activity and results. Now build a list of activities you will continue and those you will change. Be honest!

Step 5 – Objectives/Goals for 2014
Now that you have completed the first 4 steps, now it is time to consider what your objectives/goals are for 2014. To achieve success you must accept it can only be accomplished through a step-by-step process. Once you have determined your goals/objectives, write them down! Now, break them down month-by-month. Be realistic! Next, share your goals with your peers, leaders, managers, spouses, children and anyone else important to you. I guarantee that if you do not write them down you will not achieve them!

Step 6 – Plus/Delta of 2013
An effective salesperson maximizes their strengths and manages their weaknesses! A very useful tool to accomplish this is the Plus/Delta tool.
Take a piece of paper, draw a line down the center, on the top left write the word Plus and on the top right write the word Delta. In the Plus column write all the things you did well in 2013. In the Delta column write all the things you plan to change in 2014. Do a Plus/Delta for each area of your business, each system, process and tool. If the system, process or tool works well for you then keep using it. If not, build a list of those things you wish to change.

Step 7 – Gap Analysis from 2013 to 2014
The difference between your current situation (2013) and your desired situation (2014) is called the Gap – therefore this is the Gap Analysis.
In this step you gather together all the results of the previous 6 steps and begin to look for ways to fill the Gap between where you are today and where you would like to be in the future. Let your mind go wild. List all the things you need to do without judgement whether you can do them or not. In the next step we will do a reality check to determine what you can realistically do in 2014.

Step 8 – Reality Check
The path between your current situation and your desired situation is not a straight path. It is a series of steps!
Remember you can manage your activity but not your results. You can only influence your results. So as you review the results of the previous 7 steps and you consider what actions you will take to move towards greater success in 2014, I strongly encourage you to focus on those activities which will improve your professionalism, increase your productivity and give you greater profitability. Now choose 3 changes you will make. Write down the changes you wish to adopt. After you have successfully adopted (adopted them for a minimum of 30 days) these changes, you can add more changes.

Step 9 - Action
This is the final step as you begin to adopt those necessary changes that will move you towards your desired changes for 2014
Many people make resolutions at this time of the year to be better in the coming year. Unfortunately most do not act on these resolutions. You must have wondered why so many never follow through on their resolutions. Hopefully the past 8 steps have given you enough reasons to change your behaviors. People can change, but lasting change must be adopted slowly and consistently to be permanent. Now is the time to act. Start now! Write down the changes you wish to adopt. I wish you greater success in 2014.

Make a choice to plan better for 2014 and you will improve your results. Remember … Success is a choice!