To succeed in business these days, you have to think like a businessperson, not a salesperson. Salespeople think in the now, the very moment. They are focused on the next big sale, not the one that will happen five months down the road.
But this short-sightedness will not bring you sustained success. A businessperson, whether the owner or manager, needs to keep an eye on the long-term perspective in order to proactively steer the company. He has to be keen enough to avoid the problems that arise from living in the moment.
Take, for instance, this all-too-common sales phrase: “You’ve had a bad month.” There is no such thing as “bad month”. They come in pairs. You have the beginning of the build cycle, when you pen the deal, and the closing that happens after the house is completed. One bad month equates to a second month where you have no closings.
The problem is further compounded when you fall behind. Let’s say you set a goal of 48 sales in a year, or four per month. January comes and goes without a sale. Now you have to play catch-up in February and make eight sales, but only manage to get two. Not only have you lost two months worth of selling time, but you also have two months with no closings. And what is the likelihood that you can convert 10 sales in March, just so you can keep pace with what looked like a reasonable goal at the start of the year? Slim to none.
The other concern with the “bad month” myopia is the manager who sympathizes with the under-performing salesperson. “I’ll give him another 90 days”, says the kindly boss. Three months to catch up? Well, what this manager has really done is sacrificed six months. Can you afford to give away half a year’s sales?
If you want to stay in business, you can’t take a cavalier attitude toward the “bad month”. It’s the harbinger of a bad season and a bad year!