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TCV Insights

Creating Margin

By Rick Vohrer - TCV Growth Director

A typical page in a word doc is 8.5” x 11” or 93.5 Sq. inches. Every written document has open space designed into it. Any document without the open space does not look right. The normal area left blank on a page, AKA Margins, is 1” at the top, bottom and both sides. This yields an area to write in of 6.5” x 9” or 58.5 sq. inches. Thirty-five (35) square inches of BLANK space designed into every standard document. That is over 37%. Even document pages with narrow margins of just ½” leave over 18% of the page open. So, at the beginning of this new year, 2023, why is this important to a Sales Triathlete?

I suspect those investing the time to peruse this have already created their sales or business plan for 2023. I am sure your plan is written down because all Sales Triathletes realize written plans succeed more often than the ones simply floating around in our heads. And I will wager that your plan has robust SMART goals, a few slam dunks and several that will make you stretch. There are likely to be a couple you listed because it felt good to be so optimistic but deep down in your gray matter, your logic and common sense says you have as good a chance of winning the lottery as attaining those couple goals. In fact, if you attain them, life will be about as good as if you win the lottery.

Now take a moment and look at the page where you wrote your plan. I know it has something mentioned in the first paragraph… blank, open space. A margin. BUT… does your Sales or Business PLAN have a built-in margin?

“HUH?” you say. “What is meant by a built-in margin?”

Margin is the planned BLANK space in a written document, minimally at least 18% but normally 37+%. And that margin is designed into the page BEFORE you begin composing your sales or business plan. If you start composing your plan without first setting up the page margins, the finished document will look strange, cluttered, hard to read. Remembering to add margins after the fact will affect the entire layout.

Even machines designed to run 24/7 break down. That is why PMIs (preventative maintenance inspections) exist. It is why you get your vehicle serviced. It is why devices need a reboot. It is why software gets upgrades. A Sales Triathlete needs margin.

Does your sales or business plan have predetermined margin? Did you create it by first planning the amount of open space you want, no not want, NEED in your business life? Like a written page, the lack of predetermined margins in your sales or business plan ends up with a life that does not look right, feels cluttered, and risks a break down. If the written page looks right with between 18% -37% open space, then your sales or business plan needs a like amount.

You are a Sales Triathlete, not a machine. To successfully complete the three events in the Sales Triathlon, prospecting, presenting, closing, your sales and business plan needs margin determined and built into it before you start setting in all your goals. If you completed your plan and neglected Step #1, setting your margins, it’s only week ONE. Fix it now and on week FIFTY-TWO you can look back having all your goals achieved and a better life balance.

Need help creating your sales plan? I'm happy to help.



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