Business Timelines

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When you quote a price,


do you quote a schedule?


     When you tell a story,  do you use a timeline?

     You’re in sales, right?  Of course you are! You own or run a business or professional practice or company department? Then you’re in sales. You work at the top crossbeam of a new skyscraper construction site? You’re in sales.

     You work inside an underground  storage container or facility? You’re in sales? You don’t work at all? You’re in sales. And since now that you’ve found out that you are in fact in sales, it’s important to know how important it is for you to make maximum use of a timeline.

     Why? Funny you should ask. You knew I had the answer, right?  Okay, here it comes. Because a timeline helps make your sales points quicker and simpler. It helps your prospects, customers, bosses, parents (and anyone you need to influence) to understand your frame of reference more clearly and more readily.

     When you propose a fee for providing a service,  for example, you must be prepared to give a target date for completion. In some cases, you can hedge it a bit by estimating 60-90 days or 1-2 hours or 9-10 months, but be quick to support the reason for not being more specific. Specific is best. Always.

     Why? (You knew that was coming, right?)  Here’s why:  For a goal to be a goal instead of just a meaningless “wish,” it needs to be specific, realistic, flexible and have a due date. (And, yes, it must be all four of those things or it is fantasy and fantasy doesn’t get things done!)

     To promise something by a specific date  gives you credibility and a certain amount of accompanying trust, which of course you need to fulfill on or notify the payer as far in advance as possible of the need to extend the time period… and why.

     You would be amazed  at how many people don’t automatically build a timeline into their planning, sales pitch, agenda, project, program, meeting, advertisement, work schedule, new product or service launch, construction or revitalization effort, financial review, or story.

     As a writer,  I find the inclusion of a timeline related to job completion to be essential, but I also find that including a timeline reference inside the actual writing –whether it’s a commissioned book or a brochure, advertisement or website– has value in and of itself.

     Part of the credibility and fascination  of the “story” or “sales pitch” will often actually evolve directly from an integrated timeline. Juxtaposing historic events alongside a biographical story, for example, or as part of “what happened when” in the “About Us” webpage, or as a schedule of events in an ad or brochure can give your presentation the teeth it needs to attract attention and create interest! 

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Input always welcome: (”Businessworks” in subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  

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