MISSION, MEN, ME

How do you set priorities?

All schooling does not happen in traditional classrooms. For most students, their real education does not begin until their formal schooling is out of the way and they encounter the real world with real-world problems. My educational experience has been much the same.

I studied at two great institutions of higher education and graduated from both with undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology. I value that learning and have used it for most of my career. There was another institution of learning in which I spent four years—the United States Army. During my service, I had the privilege of attending leadership schools and subsequently leading troops. What I learned from this experience had a profound effect on me.

I learned a priority system which business and political leaders could benefit from: Mission-Men-Me. Notice, the top priority is commitment to the mission—getting the job done. Locking in on mission and locking out distractions is how leaders prevent mission creep and accomplish results. Next, attending to the “men” (people) means taking care of those whom leaders have the privilege of leading. We learned simple things like the troops eat first and never position your troops in formation with the sun in their eyes. These commonsense acts reflected the next and most important sense of priority—leaders must subordinate themselves to their mission and people. Leaders rank third in order of importance.

The willingness of leaders—military, business, and political—to subordinate themselves to the greater good of their cause and to their people is the hallmark of true leadership. This presumes a measure of humility that is in short supply these days.

Whether you manage a sales territory, a sales force, or a company of employees, your sense of self must follow your commitment to the mission and the people you serve. Then, you will be an effective leader, of sales and people.

Read and comment on this article at www.TomReillyBlog.com.

Tom Reilly is the author of The Humility Paradox (AMAZON).

Next Value-Added Selling public seminar is December 14-15, 2016 and is presented by Paul Reilly. For more information, visit www.TomReillyTraining.com.

 

It Hurt To See Her Again

We said good-bye, I left for war,

We pledged too much to hump that far.

Come back the boy you are today.

I hope I can, all I could say.

Will you be here when I return?

I will be here, have no concern.

 

So much occurred while I was there,

Some good, some bad, a lot to bear.

My tour was done, after one year,

I came back home—there was no here.

No girl, no youth, innocence spent—

The price we paid when we were sent.

 

I see her face at night these days,

Through mem’ry’s eyes and dreamy haze.

They come and go, these dreams of mine,

Of days gone by and love’s sweet wine.

It hurt to see her face last night,

Familiar pain, familiar sight.

 

If I could choose my dreams this day,

I’d choose a youth that slipped away.

With eyes closed tight to hold my dreams,

I’d search for Innocence it seems.

I wake from dreams I wish would stay,

So great a price we had to pay.

Copyright 2016 Tom Reilly

The Perfectly Balanced Sales Pipeline

pipeline

Imagine a steady flow of new business without peaks or valleys. Imagine the effect on your sales. Imagine the impact on your income.

Whether you call it territory management, pipeline management, or opportunity management, maintaining a steady flow of new business is challenging. For most salespeople, the sales calendar is a roller-coaster ride—up one month and down the next—of euphoria and disappointment. This makes sales forecasting an impossible task. The answer to this dilemma lies in the metrics by which salespeople live.

Closing sales is a productivity metric based on achievement. Calling is a performance metric based on activity. Structured properly, performance leads to productivity. This means that salespeople must schedule activities that lead to achievement. They perform to produce. This is more an organizational versus a selling-technique challenge.

A simple formula for guaranteeing a steady flow of business is 1-2-4. This means for every short-term opportunity, there must be two intermediate, and four long-term opportunities in the works. For example, for every piece of business that you will close in the next 30 days, you need two that will close in the next 90 days, and four that will close beyond this. You may work on shorter or longer lead times, but the ratio is always the same.

The 1-2-4 ratio is based on average closing ratios, and it has been documented as a success strategy for salespeople in all industries for decades. To get the most value from this idea, study your potential book of business and evaluate how your opportunities compare to the 1-2-4 ratio. Adjust as necessary, if your goal is to have a steady flow of business.

Tom Reilly is literally the guy who wrote the book on Value-Added Selling (McGraw-Hill). Visit us online at www.TomReillyTraining.com.VAS Cover 4-10