Have you ever realized how much better things tend to go when you map out at least a rough plan before whatever it is? Whether it’s a meeting, your day, your year, or a vacation it’s almost always better to be proactive about your approach than reactive which is what this post is all about.
Next week I’ll be taking off on a trip with my family to Italy for 3 weeks. My wife has been planning for months mapping out all the different thing we want to do and places we want to go so we can get the most out of our time there. I guarantee it’s going to be a blast (pay attention to my SnapChat by the way).
As this relates to work, most of us just show up and take the day as it comes. We get in the office, check our to-do’s, grind through our activities, handle customers or prospects as they come and rely on our ability to react the right way to every situation. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t all that great at reacting the right way every time.
Have you ever mapped out a plan and goals for the next day the night before? How much better do those days go? How about prepping for a meeting with an agenda and sharing it with your customer beforehand? Or writing down your goals for a meeting and what you’re trying to close for and then doing a quick role play with your manager to practice your close and how you’re going to handle the expected objections? I train on how to prepare for meetings along with objection handling and closing skills/techniques and my biggest recommendation for any of them is to be proactive about them versus reactive. Planning ahead makes all the difference.
I know a lot of you are thinking that going with the flow is a better and more interesting approach that allows you to be dynamic and adjust accordingly. As someone who has done a lot of both in my life (planning and going with the flow) I’m here to tell you that planning and goal setting is the better way to go. The beauty about putting together a plan is that you can always abandon it at any time and go with the flow later. But if you decide to start by going with the flow it’s pretty difficult to play catch up and develop an effective plan after the fact.