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You Need Enough Matches to Create Enough Fire

Let’s say you are a scout, a Girl Scout or a Boy Scout. You are going on a camping trip that will last for four nights. You are going to need a campfire each morning, and you are going to need a campfire each evening. In total, that is eight campfires. Let’s assume you don’t want to start a fire with flint, you need eight matches to start these fires.

  • What if one match gets wet while you are doing scout stuff, like canoeing or hiking?
  • What if a second match is a dud? It just doesn’t produce the flame it is expected to produce.
  • What if one of of your fires requires more than a couple matches to get started?

You would never bring eight matches in order to start eight fires. You would bring far more matches than you need, because you are a scout, right? You would be prepared, and you would have a contingency plan that ensures you have heat and the ability to prepare food.

Why then would you expect to yield the exact number you need to make your sales goal out of the exact number of deals that would produce that exact amount of revenue?

Why would you not expect that one of your deals is going to fall out of your pipeline due to some factor that is beyond your control?

Why would you not expect that some deal is going to take longer than it should, and that the people inside the companies you are working with aren’t going to have competing priorities and emergencies that require their attention?

In all cases, you should work exceedingly hard to control the process. You win the deal faster, and your client gets better results, faster. Even when you are perfect in the execution of your process, gaining all the commitments you need, you are going to have deals fall out of the process.

Look at this way, you would not try to yield 10M in deals out of 10M in opportunities, would you? You would have more coverage than that, more insurance. If you can’t afford to have any deals slip, commitment gaining may be part of your problem, but the bigger part of your problem may be not gaining the early commitments that result in new opportunities.

[smartads]

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