Develop your 30-minute sales plan and referral program, and discover a business-development strategy that delivers.

Writing sales plans? Setting goals? Who has time? You do!

Perhaps I don’t want to write a sales plan and set my goals, because then I’ll actually have to do them. Or, I think, “I’ll get to it later,” and later never happens.

Like anything else in life, when you work it, it works. Walk by the gym and observe how great it is that so many people are working out. Unfortunately, observing other people working out gets you nowhere. You must actually go into the gym, get on the equipment, and work out (not just phone it in) to achieve the results you want.

Develop Your 30-minute Sales Plan

So here’s my simple sales plan, it takes less than 30 minutes to write. It begins with my business-development strategy for the year, and then specific tactics to implement the plan. I write my plan, set goals, and share my goals with lots of people (not my revenue goals, because that’s none of their business.) Telling others not only keeps me accountable, but also helps me clarify my objectives. By sharing my goals, I find out whether my goals are:

  • Clear
  • Understandable
  • Do-able
  • Too aggressive
  • Too easy

The Whole Is the Sum of Its Parts

A goal is achievable with a little bit of stretch. Once I finalize my yearly goals, I create weekly goals. Each week I decide what I want to accomplish, who I want to thank, and who I miss talking to. Weekly goals make things much more manageable, and I don’t forget. I review my goals each month and make regular adjustments. (Yes, goals are made to change and to blow past.)

Your #1 Goal: Referrals

Your most critical goal is your referral-marketing goal. Make referral selling your sales-prospecting priority. You fully commit to referral selling and eliminate unproductive prospecting techniques. Remember, you get the meeting with a prospect who wants to meet you and convert that sales prospect into a new client more than 50 percent of the time. And even more exciting, you reduce your cost of sales and shorten the time it takes to obtain a new client. All we have is time.

5 Tips to Make Referral Selling Work For You

  1. Form a Sales Advisory Board. Gather a few people together—include those who don’t know your business. Brainstorm ideas to increase your sales and create attainable goals.
  2. Commit to Building a Referral Business. Make referrals your priority and your sales strategy. Surround yourself with people who are movers and shakers who can offer business referrals your way and vice versa.
  3. Commit to Referral Goals. Determine:
    a. What percent of your business you anticipate from referrals
    b. How many people you will ask for referrals each week
    c. Who you will ask for referrals and by when
  4. Build Your Plan. Put a plan in place to check in with your clients and find out what they need and what more you can do for them.  Find out why they like working with you.
  5. Create Accountability. Choose an Accountability Partner—such as a trusted colleague, coach, or associate—to share ideas and help each other. This idea sharing quickly contributes to your business success.

When you work your referral program, you will achieve results—new clients, increased sales, a shortened sale process, reduced cost of sales, and more time to work with only great clients! So write your plan and set your goals. There’s no time to waste.

Set Your 2013 Goals & Comment Here

Goal setting (strategic thinking) is only part of the plan. The doing is what gets you to where you want to be. What are your most challenging sales hurdles? What’s most illuminating about writing your weekly goals? What will you do with all the new business you generate through referrals? Comment here.