Monday, June 29, 2009

Closing the deal

I realize that many of you are thinking that this entry is about sales. It is not. Rather, it is about execution of a plan, any plan. Do you aspire to have that managerial job? Or perhaps you're eyeing that roadster down the block in the driveway with the "For Sale" sign in it. And is that a model that I see sitting two tables down from me in this restaurant?

Regardless of the situation, you need a plan if you wish to reach your goal. And the first stage of any plan is understanding exactly what needs to be done and what the potential risks are that would prevent you from succeeding.

In sales this is called qualification. Everyone else calls it discovery or, simply put, asking questions. And it is essential to do this or else you run the risk of making an avoidable mistake because you simply didn't know any better.

What about that model? "Who is she?" (Check Google via your smart phone.) "What are her interests?" (Again, Google it.) "What is she eating, and do I know a good wine pairing?" "Are there any paparazzi waiting around outside of the door that she needs to be aware of?" Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to approach her and sound intelligent enough to catch her interest.

You also need to understand the risks in each situation. "Is it true that she's married to Vin Diesel?" "Is that her lesbian lover that she's kissing?" Either of these are a show stopper, obviously, but if you weren't aware of her marriage to the esteemed Mr. Diesel and he shows up while you're hitting on his wife then it will probably be more than just a spurned advance that you'll receive in response.

There is a cliché that says, "you have to learn how to walk before you can run." My response to this is that before you can walk, you need to know not only where you're going but what the best method is to get there. Understanding the answers to these questions will provide you a head start in successfully executing your plan of action.

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