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More Strategy, Less Hope

We began the new year with a tip about how to turn our hopes into action and creating a strategy. As we shared, hope is not a strategy, but hope is a vital component to making a strategy come to life. Hope is a positive expectancy — a belief that things will get better, or that we can be better, but hope is not enough.

One of my favorite broadcast executives took that tip a step further and shared it with his team. The team was asked for even more specifics. I found great value in what he did and knew you would too.


A happy and healthy new year to you. (Boy, that second part takes on a bigger meaning these days, huh?) I asked my team to come up with their own list — three goals/action items they each want to achieve this year.

It's one of the best exercises that any individual can do, and I wanted to share with you some examples of the responses. These responses come from the sales managers that report to me and are just a sample. I love this exercise because I'll check in on their progress with their individual goals at three or four points during the year.

Prospecting Game Plan — "Using our available tools and developing consistent habits in using those tools as a way to provide real data to prospects as opposed to just winging it. Each seller on my watch will be better trained, better armed and more strategic in 2022 as a result."

Providing More Effective Guidance — "I want to challenge my team, but I want to do it positively. I want to ask more questions and listen for clues on how their game plans will improve performance. I need to make sure I'm not doing their job."

Challenge Them Out of Their Comfort Zones — "I'm working to identify what those comfort zones are. For example, just because they have been selling the same $1,000 campaign over and over, that doesn't mean it's right for the client, or that it's effective or necessary. I need to challenge that with poignant questions about effectiveness. We can't be selling for selling's sake."

More Consistency — "I want to be more consistent in renewing business, tracking campaign progress and helping my sellers be more proactive with both."

More Effective Training — "Instead of training for training's sake, we should be more in the moment when I spot a need for in-field coaching and training around a product or sales technique."

Meet With Clients More Regularly — "This is especially true for our larger clients to provide a level of service above what we are currently doing. This will help in unearthing client concerns/problems/issues to manage them and ultimately renew their business."

Check In More Regularly with Sellers — "It should be done not just in weekly one-on-one meetings, but also temperature checks on a personal level. We work so intensely with each person, understanding them better as people will go a long way in being dialed into them and what's impacting their lives."

I do not doubt that with that kind of focus, my executive friend's team will be wildly successful in 2022 because he's not leaving anything to chance. There are four valuable lessons from this exercise:

1. It starts and ends with sellers — By asking for their input and ideas, you get buy-in. As sales trainer Bob Pike says, "People rarely resist their own ideas." This process helps them own it.

2. It's specific — No platitudes, but specifics on how to improve.

3. It's focused on what matters.

4. Accountability is important. Rather than the team being held accountable, this way of creating the strategy allows them to BE accountable to themselves and the leader's role is to simply guide, not micromanage.

This is a worthy exercise for any manager to undertake with their team in search of making 2022 their best year ever. Join us next week to learn about RAB tools and resources to help in our free live presentation.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at jeff.schmidt@rab.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB