Ask The Swag Coach: Plan Your Work, Then Work Your Plan

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Sixth in a series

In this series, distributor owner and sales coach Josh Frey answers frequently asked questions on a wide range of sales topics.

 

The end of 2021 is fast approaching. What are you doing to gear up for your 2022 sales?

I know, I know—it’s the end of the year and you’re tired of the sales grind and ready for the holidays, right? But now is the best time to start planning for 2022 with a goal of having your best year ever.

Whether 2021 has been a year to remember (or a year to forget), there is no substitute for a sales and action plan. As my Uncle Marvin always taught me, “Plan your work, then work your plan.”

Maybe your sales goal is to reach or exceed $1 million? Maybe your goal is to earn a full-time living so you can quit your day job. Maybe your goal is to build your promo business beyond your own sales and develop a salesforce.

Regardless of your goals, there is no better way to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize than to create a sales and action plan for your promo business.

What is your theme for the year? What is your strategy for getting new customers and retaining old ones? What are you doing to separate yourself from the competition and increase your “take home” dollars?

Do you have a plan for what you are doing every day, on a week-to-week basis to stay proactive with your sales efforts? Do you have a plan to keep you focused, and consistently engaged in revenue-generating activities?

I used to hate strategic planning, and now, I love it. Why? Because strategic planning has been the key to scaling my promo sales and business faster, more profitably and enjoying it more.

How do you know where you want to be at the end of the year if you don’t have goals and a plan for getting there?

I use a planning tool that has changed my business for the better—it’s the same one-year sales and action tool we use for our Swag Coach Small Group Coaching members, and it will work to help you proactively plan for your promo success too.

Here are five steps for setting up your sales and action plan for 2022.


Develop a theme for the year. Think of something that will motivate you and keep you on track (if you get distracted like I do). For example: 80/20 means focusing on the top 20 buyers/companies that will get you 80 percent of your business.

 
Set gross profit dollar goals for the year. Sure, you can focus on your sales goals and sales growth, but if you care about take-home dollars like I do, then the gold is in the bottom line, not the top line. Here’s the formula: Sales minus cost of gross sales (COGS) equals gross profit dollars.


Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your plan. What are the one to three metrics on which to focus your sales efforts that, if reached, will drive your sales and gross profit dollars? For example: for me it’s company stores. I have a KPI to add 10 company stores every year.

 
Set task-oriented sales goals with metrics. These should be goals that tie in with your KPIs and help drive your growth and profitability. For example: meetings with decision makers, referral requests and time spent on revenue-generating activities are all sales-oriented goals for which you can add a metric to measure that either you reached the goal or not.

 
Create your 90-day rocks. Once you have your annual goals set, break down the top three to five into “90-day rocks”—these are the items you will hyperfocus on, and they all tie into your overall plan. Each quarter, set new “rocks” to keep you on target or tweak them as needed.

Complete these five steps and you will then have a sales and action plan to help you get a jump start on 2022 and position yourself for your best year ever.  

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Josh Frey is founder of Falls Church, Virginia-based distributor On Sale Promos and the Swag Coach Program. He is a 25-year industry veteran and front-line sales coach. Josh@swagcoach.com. Visit TheSwagCoach.com to register for his next Distributors Helping Distributors show and learn more about his promo coaching programs offered.

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