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“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” So says Robert Burns in his famous poem about a mouse who had his home destroyed by the farmer’s plow. This theme was later borrowed to help create one of the most famous novels of all time, as written by John Steinbeck. So, I thought that I would create one more allegory from this famous poem; as it relates to selling and business.

Do you have a plan?

For many salespeople, the ‘best laid plans’ are not an element of concern. Why? It’s because so many have no solid plan when they enter the home of a prospect or even when they meet them at the office or showroom. They simply ‘wing it’.

When things go awry for these individuals there can be no Plan B, because there was no Plan A in the first place. They must continue to ad-lib, improvise or fake it. This most often leads to a confusing and wandering presentation.

Since there is no plan, it is very likely that the prospects will feel the lack of direction and become confused, bored or experience fear. Any of these negative emotions will, most likely, lead to the lack of a decision.

For those who are uninitiated into the lexicon of sales jargon, the lack of a decision is, in fact, a decision after all. It’s a NO. For the unprepared, anything that goes awry is a terrible and fearful experience. It is frequently a meeting ending occasion.

The best laid plans

Those who diligently prepare in advance for presentations and meetings have many options when it all goes awry. Why? It’s because, as part of their groundwork, they will have prepared in advance for just such an occasion.

When things go wrong for the prepared and those with well-developed and practiced presentations, there is never a catastrophic result. Since the incident is most likely an issue close to the topic being discussed in the presentation, it merely provides another constructive chance to provide information that will allow the prospects to make the correct choices. For the prepared, such incidences are essentially welcomed, as they afford the opening for a positive outcome to the meeting.

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”

Yes, they do. It’s the same for the prepared as well as the unprepared. The difference, of course, is that for the prepared it represents an opportunity. For the unprepared is signifies a disaster. Now, if the mice had only been prepared. . .

Thank you

Hopefully, the message is clear. Be prepared. Train continually, plan carefully and practice often. Determine what you need to know and then seek out those who can best provide you the information. Be tenacious in your quest for knowledge and professionalism. Separate and elevate from competition. And when things go awry, smile; you’ve got this.

I love this stuff!

Until next time, God bless and good sales,