Do you write a to-do list each day? Do you write down your plans? Do you create a written strategic plan for each year? If you are not writing things down – how are you remembering what you need to do? Writing your goals, plans and activities ensures you have a written and visual plan for your success.

What happens when you write things down?
Writing down your goals and activities forces you to think about what you need to do and provides you with a checklist and guide to follow. That check list gives you a list to follow each day. This checklist keeps you focused, allows you to prioritize what the most important tasks are and ensures you know what you did each day. I find that sales people who don’t write down their goals each day are the ones who are distracted by every interruption and who never seem to get the things done that they set out to do in the morning.

Successful sales reps always have a written plan and goals. They review their to-do list each day and at the end of the day they review what was done and what needs to be done for the next day. They set time lines against their strategy and each day make sure they are getting another step closer to their success. This knowing what you are working on will bring you a confidence and focus that helps you to be successful. It allows you to know whether you are meeting your goals for success. It also provides you with a document you can discuss and review with your boss. If your company does not mange you this way, it is a means for you to self manage yourself.

Writing things down makes you accountable and helps you to get clarity on your strategy and goals. Watch what happens when you send a written account to a client or prospect that is not committing to something. They become agitated at your written note and deny everything or commit to what you are asking for. You now know where you stand with that account! The main reason this happens is because there is now a written document that commits them to action. A client or prospect that only verbalizes their intentions will never be wrong or be able to be corrected because there is no written account to get the facts from.

What do you write down?
I suggest that you write down the things that are important to you. If it is a to-do-list write down a list of all the activities you need to do for the day. Review this list and determine what the most important activities are. Highlight or identify these items. As you move thru your day and begin completing these activities do the most important items first. By doing this you ensure that you are successful with your top activities. If all you do is complete the easy tasks each day then you will take a lot longer to complete anything of consequence.

Keep a pad of paper nearby during the day. As ideas and thoughts come to you write them down. As you think of things that need to be done write them down. If you don’t write it down, too often the thought goes away and you can’t remember what it was or it is too late when you remember. It has been proven that people who write down grocery lists leave the store with the things they need and very little else. If you shop without a list then you bring home all the junk food and items that you really don’t need and forget the milk and eggs.

What are your written plans for 2008?
It is the start of another year. Take some time in the next two weeks and write down all the things you need to do this year to be successful. How much money do you want to make, how many new customers do you need to close, what marketing do you need to do, what activities do you need to do, what is going to make you successful. Write down in as much detail as you can. Then review what you have written and begin to organize these plans. Now rewrite your goals in priority and set timelines for your success.

Author's Bio: 

Bill Sayers speaks, coaches, leads education sessions and provides management consulting services to a variety of companies. For the past five years Bill has run his own sales consulting practice. He has recently completed the writing of his new book – “Funnels and Forecasts – The Great Game of Sales”. He has been a professor at George Brown College teaching Personal Selling Skills to the Sports and Event Marketing Graduate Program, and is on the faculty of Canadian Professional Sales Association and Canadian Management Centre.
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