For many of those in retail, you have just completed the yearly ritual of shutting down shop to take go through their annual inventory review. Inventory is the most important factor over the length of a career in sales. What happens when your inventory runs out? Who do you sell to when there is no one left to buy? For most people this will never become a reality, but it highlights a very important issue. When is the last time you evaluated your inventory?
I have made it a habit to lock myself away in my office and let everyone know I am not to disturbed on January 2nd of each year. I spend an entire day going through my entire inventory and planning out my next 12 months. Now some of you may say that there is no way you can know what you will be doing 10 months from now because things change. The reality is that things do change, but that doesn’t change the fact that as a sales person we need to have goals, and each goal requires a detailed plan.
Whether you are an insurance agent, and you’re sales cycle revolves around renewal dates, or you’re a copier salesperson who’s sales cycle revolves around referrals and length of contracts, we all must have ways in which we can keep tabs on our inventory and know where our best opportunity to excel will be.
Lesson: How to stay on top of your inventory-
- Schedule a time every year, month, or how ever often is needed to do only inventory review and planning.
- Keep great files to keep you organized and maximize the time you spend planning.
- Write down your plan and make sure it lines up with your goals (this means you must have goals).
- When you are feeling overwhelmed, review your inventory and goals and make sure you are still on track.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery