Confessions of a prime ministerial advisor emerged in London this week.
The person in charge of “event planning” during last year’s UK general election revealed a mistake.
It seems the Campaign Schedule has a name; The Grid. It has the ring of an oppressive sci-fi dystopian masterplan which can overtake and subvert the free mind. And in this political context it certainly can be a fairly powerful construct.
There are numerous daily slots. Every slot needs a purpose. Which can lead to errors. As at one point, the team around sitting PM Cameron were desperate to fill a “hole in the grid”.
So much so, that they made up possibly ‘the worst economic policy ever’. The “5-year tax lock”. Legislation to prevent any tax rises. Just to plug a gap in The Grid.
Looking back over a year on, the learning experience appears to be that you must be careful about wanting to fill a vacuum. Especially when it leads to doing something ‘on the hoof’. Seen as disastrous both at the time, and later.
Pretty much every solution sales campaign should have a similar grid. A plan of activities-by-dates that both propel our case and gain the requisite sign-offs.
At the top of this post is a platform sample. Where you’ve six columns of ‘periods’. To cover the four rows of typical buying influence (Financial, User, Commercial, Technical). Gaps are self-evident. You can colour-code to highlight pivotal or multiple events.
Holes can be allowable. You can’t legislate for everything. But too many, or ones that you let fester into nothingness, and you’re in trouble.
You should know your optimum meeting/action timeline. You should know which buyers require what treatment. You should know what each meeting triggers in preparatory setup, and needs after as concluding confirmation. All aimed to traverse the choppy waters towards a smooth sailing signature. But take care not to rush and fill a gap with ‘the worse selling activity ever’.