Back Up Plans


Well, the perceptive among you may have noticed that I’m a few days late with this month's edition of the YourSalesSuccess eZine.

Didn't I have back up plans ?

It’s taken 40 weeks for this to happen.

You may ask, “Why ?”

I would reply that I had technical problems.

Surely, I would have had a back up plan.

Well, I thought I had all my bases covered.

  • I had a back up computer
  • A laptop that I keep charged in case of power failure.
  • I had two Internet service providers.
  • I had two phone lines.

Well, what I didn’t count on was all the phone lines being down for 5 days !

Some time after this I bought a wireless Internet connection in case the lines are all down again.

We have had some big storms in and around Sydney and many services were out and I just had to wait my turn in the queue behind the essential medical services and the like until my phone lines were restored.

Funnily enough the storms had nothing to do with my lack of phone service.
It turns out some local animals; either parrots or possums, have been chewing on the lines !

What back up plans do you have in place for your business ?

Now, I wonder, what back up plans do you have in place for your business ?

This seems relevant to sales on a few levels.

Firstly, when you walk into a sales call what is your back up plan.
If you have planned the call and have an approach / strategy ( which you should ) have you covered all the bases ? 
Is there a response you could get from your prospect that would have you babbling and struggling for an answer ? 
If there is, prepare in advance and devise an alternate strategy.

Secondly, I’d imagine you walk into most sales calls with a clear objective.
Do you have a fall back position, an option that you would consider the least acceptable to you ?
For example if you were coming to a meeting with an objective of negotiating a 12 month supply agreement at price $X, what is the minimum you are prepared to accept ?
Say a 3 month deal at price $X +10% ? 
Perhaps there’s a minimum quantity you need ordered before you can supply.

Finally, what back up plans do you have to cover your major customers in the event of an unforeseen glitch in the supply chain ?
What would happen if your major customer was on the other side of the country and you always supplied them by rail and the rail lines were closed ? 
How would you get material to them to keep their factory operating ? 
What sort of things could go wrong ?
Maybe your plant could go off-line.
How would you cover that eventuality ? 
You could have transport problems, raw material supply problems, power failure etc etc. 
Do you have a back up plan for each eventuality ?

This is a short newsletter but probably very timely.

What Can Go Wrong

The Christmas period is one where things can go wrong. 
It’s cold in the northern hemisphere and that causes some problems.
Many people are on holidays here in Australia and businesses are running on skeleton staff.

There would be no better time to review the back up supply plans for your major customers than now.

After which you can rest easy, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I intend to.

Maybe even get yourself a book on influence and persuasion and have a read during the break.

This is my last newsletter for 2003. 
Looking forward to bigger and better things in 2004. 
My first, newsletter for 2004 will be on the 13th – 14th of January (depending on which hemisphere you live in).

A toast ! Here's to YourSalesSuccess.