How Nowcasting Can Improve Forecasting

simpsons clouds oval test

So looking up at the sky can give you an idea of what the weather might do for the next hour or two.

Says tv meteorologist Lucy Verasamy who I heard earlier during Saturday’s Tea interval from The Oval Test on TMS.

She mentioned a specific term for this; nowcasting.

Around the time she talked this through, I managed to take a quick pic off a telly of the scene she ‘nowcasted’. The sky above the cricket was full of “Simpson’s clouds”. A name given in weather circles due to their similarity to the cartoon style ones just like in the animated show’s opening titles.

Such flat-bottomed fluffy tops mean the air is stable. Heat rises to a certain height and sits there. Their presence suggests that no change in the weather is coming just yet, nor any chance of rain.

I was instantly reminded of the countless forecast sessions I’ve been in.

Unless they turn into a full blown deal review (which happens too often for my liking) many a conversation surreptitiously meanders towards interrogation.

Are we gonna win it?
What needs to happen for us to win?
What’s happening next?

You probably know the drill.

The notion of ‘agreed next action’ is one close to my heart.

Often, such event can be worryingly far off. Nearer the horizon than the ‘now’ you’d want.

And this ‘now’ element is interesting.

Perhaps a different angle will introduce a powerful view.

What are your prospect’s doing today?

Are they simply sitting on your proposal? Letting it nestle, fester even, deep below their eyeline in their inbox? Not thinking about you, let alone acting on your (joint) behalf, until about a week’s time when the calender reminder about a related meeting beeps ten minutes before it’s due?

As well as thinking about what’s “next”, how about what they are doing right now? This very day? What chats are they having about your deal with colleagues today? In the crowded airtime around their company, which people will be hearing or talking about you today? Who is being introduced to your ideas today? Who may be having their opinion altered, or solidified?

If no transmission is taking place today, then need you worry?

Here’s one big pay-off. It brings into play tactics that encourage and ensure your prospects are acting on what you propose when you are not there. And pace them in such a way that they dovetail with your timetable.

So, if you’re running a forecast session or looking at your own pipeline alone, think of your ‘nowcast’. As I explain, not in terms of what is “done” already, but what is happening prospect-side today.

TheSimpsons opening

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