When the bell rang on March 10th, bidding in the NFL free-agent market began. What seemed like chaos ensued with teams competing and jostling on the free-agent field to get their top picks of free-agents.
Sports news was rife with constant updates, incoming news of signings, dollar amounts and trades. Beneath the frenzy lay months of strategic planning and preparation. The truth is that the free-agent market is a well-orchestrated and choreographed event. In his article about the free-agent market for the Bleacher Report, NFL Columnist Dan Pompei provides a detailed timeline of the planning, preparation, and strategizing that goes into each decision made in the free-agent pit.
We’re not surprised to see all the hard work and effort. After all, each NFL team is a business and success in business requires planning and preparation. Every business must have key strategies in place to effectively deal with known events and contingencies while en route to achieving its goals and desired outcomes.
While football is played on a different field, the same level of planning and preparation goes into sales. In the sales field, those that are thriving – whether a small or large business – always have several key people and plans in place to handle any situations that might come up. It may be impossible to plan for every contingency, but the key is to know your business. While it may sound obvious, sometimes keeping it simple is the key to success. Make a list of common events in your industry or problems in your business and then address each one. Sales stagger during colder months? Maybe plan to add indoor sales events to your lineup in the winter. Always need more staff during the holidays? Plan ahead and have additional recruiting ready to go, or maybe outsource so there is no lull during critical sales times. If you are generally busy and wearing many hats like most business owners and managers do, make sure you have an experienced consultant to help, or assistant managers who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get in the field as often as needed.
Know your business. Understand the common events and contingencies and then have people and plans in place so that no matter what happens, delays are minimal and there is no break in momentum as you reach your goals. The more prepared you are to overcome obstacles and meet challenges, the more successful you will be.
There may not be a free agent market in the sales field, but the concept of preparation transcends industries. In the words of Vince Lombardi, “The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.” Will you be ready when your bell rings?
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