December 1; Was The Goal Crossed? Or Was It Close?
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Twelve: Excellence

December 1

Not that I have already obtained all this,

or have already arrived at my goal,

but I press on to take hold of that for which

Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Brothers and sisters,

I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.

But one thing I do:

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

I press on toward the goal to win the prize

for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

Was The Goal Crossed? Or Was It Close?

Numbers

The Sales and Marketing VP, let’s call him John (because that’s his name), made a forecast. It was a stretch just beyond reach. He was a pro who managed behaviors and not numbers.  So he talked his boss into the resources he needed.

He did more training; he hired additional support staff, realigned sales territories and fired non-performing account managers.

The goal was $500K for our little start-up. It was going to be a challenge.

***

Your Business Professor was excited to work at a start-up that was just beginning to grow (“about time,” said the investors). One of my fellow account managers got discouraged over our sales and quit for another start-up. He said, “We are running out of runway to launch this product…” Good intentions and excitement do not pave more feet in front of a straining aircraft approaching liftoff.

We needed to predict and hit sales numbers.  This forecasting is defined as the, “method for predicting how variables will change in the future.” (Bateman 2013)

The Big Number was needed to please our board of directors, but it was more than That Number, as it always is.  The management team knew it was a psychological barrier.

This is what got my attention on John’s emphasis on hitting – really hitting and passing our sales targets. Our forecast was $500K; yes $499.90 would have been close—start-up numbers being much like hand grenades and horseshoes and all that—but here a dime would make all the difference. Because some numbers count beyond measure.

It comes from marketing. In our culture we read from left to right. We seem to remember the beginning of a number sequence and pay less attention to the following digits. This is why astute sales & marketing managers will price a product or service at $9.98 or $99.95 (plus tax). Not 10 bucks or a Benjamin. Our minds process the lower number as a significant savings when, logically, it really is not.

***

John hit The Number and made our first $500,000-plus sales month. “Just like a real company,” said the CEO.  The ‘plus’ was over the $500K – not under.  It was not ‘just short.’ Not ‘almost.’

Yes, it is pure marketing where the first number is a ‘5’ for $500K and not a ‘4’ and really would not have made that much difference in the bank or financial statement.

But hitting the number was more of a psychological barrier like the four-minute mile. Once Roger Bannister did it in 1954, then the impossible could become common.

Roger Bannister’s record would last 46 days.

We never went below $500K in sales after that.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

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Management, Bateman Snell 3d edition, page 54

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