Planning for…Smaller decisions…

Planning for…The unplanned

Having a goal is important. We all know that without one the planning, implementation and evaluations steps that normally follow in the GPIE management structure can’t exist. But what about the unplanned and even serendipity in life that can sometimes provide an opportunity that wasn’t in the plan?

Take that almost accidental interaction with a prospect that occurs in a place or a time that wasn’t foreseen and you suddenly realize that there’s an  opportunity. Well of course you strike, plan or no plan. And while that’s just common sense, it’s still something that you must be prepared to act on when it’ presented. And that’s still a plan.

Being prepared to capitalize on the unexpected and maybe even bizarre one in a million chance is something that we need to be ready for. Maybe it’s a date night dinner and the server apologizes for the slow service explaining that the dishwasher is down. Or perhaps you’re at your kid’s soccer game and suddenly realize the parent next to you is the GM of a new eatery.

No matter the nature of a surprise opportunity, or how unplanned it might be, you need to be ready to capitalize on that opening. And to do that means having a plan in your hip pocket that’s ready to pull out as naturally as a well-planned presentation – because in fact it should be.

Next up: The elevator pitch.

Smaller decisions…Bigger opportunities


When we met our life partner for the very first time it’s a pretty sure bet that we didn’t get on one knee and propose. Nope, it was a series of small steps that eventually led to that big decision for you both. It’s ironic therefore and maybe even kind of silly that we’ll pop “the question” to a prospect without so much as a business version of good first date for lunch or a movie.

Moreover, in our quest for landing that new account we seem almost dismissive of the idea that we might want to do anything but immediately go for the big decision (the machine products). Now there’s nothing inherently wrong with taking a shot at the big target right point of the box. But there’s a serious flaw in our strategy if we ignore a prospect’s resistance to our attempts to do that and just keep plowing forward toward that target.

Maybe the better choice is to target a minor decision – like that kitchen’s not so clean and somewhat slippery quarry time floor, or that laundry’s overflowing hamper of rejected linens as a starting point. Giving you the okay to address those problems constitutes a minor decision for that operator with little risk to them if you fail. Ah, but if you’re successful in addressing them, success there can pave the way to that prospect being open enough to make that major one.

Next up: Addressing that reject pile.