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When Good Plans Fail

Building out a plan is critical in all aspects of our lives, whether it be for personal reasons or professionally. Plans help us foresee potential risks so we can try to mitigate them beforehand. And plans help us identify our goals clearly so we can set benchmarks along the way in order to measure if we our on track to accomplishing our goals. But the best intentioned and researched plans do not always succeed. Well thought out plans do fail!

I experienced this the other day while in Quito, Ecuador. Alongside the city is a stratovolcanic mountain named Rucu Pichincha. It towers over the capital city, rising to 15,695 feet above sea level, and practically begs people to climb to the summit. Quito lies along the equator which means snow is not normally a factor. However, quickly changing weather is a risk so researching the best time to begin your hike and the expected weather is important. And that is exactly what I did. Everything seemed to align perfectly on the day I chose to make my accent. I began early in the morning knowing that rain usually comes in the afternoon and the forecasts predicted clear skies until the evening. Everything went according to my plan until I reached 15,100 feet. A fog bank quickly enveloped the mountain, limiting my sight to a very short distance. And rain started to fall making the steep slope extremely slippery. But I was only 595 feet from the summit. Unfortunately, at that altitude and the steep incline, getting to the summit may have taken another 20 minutes. So I decided to descend and try again some other day. Evidently my decision proved to be wise as the weather further deteriorated making a later decent extremely risky.

I share this story as it very much relates to well researched sales plans. It's common for sales organizations to develop annual sales plans to attain revenue goals in the future. You intake volumes of data for consideration and utilize it develop a path for financial success. Unfortunately, the best of plans sometimes fail and it vital to recognize when its happening at an early stage so you can readjust your plan to succeed another way. However, ego often gets in the way and expands the amount of time until a readjustment is made. Sales leaders often may feel its a sign of weakness if their plan does not succeed. It's not! Some times the best of plans fail due to circumstance, or changing environments, which are impossible to foresee. Readjusting sales plans is not a weakness but failure to see the need to modify them to current environments most certainly is!

If you're having trouble getting your sales team to perform at a higher level, in need of building a sales team & structure for growth, or having trouble recruiting high-performing sales professionals please schedule a free consultation here on my website, or email me at

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