Case Study: Eyes on the Prize

Plans are only as effective as how focused you are on hitting your daily, weekly and monthly goals.

The Pro

Name: Doug Chorpenning
Title: Founder and Chief Visionary
Distributorship: Wet Paint Group (asi/225354) in Littleton, CO

Wet Paint Group has a unique business model – they specialize in amenity experiences, or personal shopping and fitting sessions at their traveling pop-up shops. For example, Wet Paint will work with a Fortune 100 company taking top clients to an exotic locale for an appreciation trip. Along with the customary welcome and pillow gifts, as well as smaller swag products, Wet Paint will partner with one of its preferred boutique brands – from high-end sunglasses from Revo, to wooden watches from Tense, to Sudara Lounge Wear and more – to offer a personalized fitting experience for each attendee.

“People want Return on Experience,” says Chorpenning. “And we don’t have to carry inventory; these brands will drop-ship to the different events. The client will guarantee a certain number of pieces for the number of attendees they’ll be hosting, and we show up and outfit them. We’re like Santa Claus.”

Sounds like there’s a lot of opportunity. And there is. In fact, the Wet Paint team is in a different location every week, even sometimes two or three. But it’s what Chorpenning calls “a blessing and a curse,” since it’s so easy to lose focus.

“When I’m putting together a sales plan, the biggest challenge is distraction and keeping our focus in the middle of everything,” says Chorpenning. “With amenity experiences, we can go in this direction, and that direction. The phone’s constantly ringing, and we’re going to tons of events. But it’s important to pursue only profitable opportunities.”

No matter how detailed and well thought-out a sales plan is at the beginning of a new year, results are only as good as the execution of the plan. That means not being tempted by “shiny things,” says Chorpenning, or those proposals that look lucrative from the outside but, with a little deeper digging, won’t have the type of ROI needed to meet the sales plan’s benchmarks.

To stay sharp and laser-focused, Chorpenning breaks his goals down into daily objectives that must be met. “Our goal is to sell 500 pieces a week,” he says. “So what do I have to do to sell that? I’ve figured out that we can pay our bills with that, and the rest is gravy. Another distributor may decide they have to make 10, 20, 50 calls a day. Maybe they send out one, two or five proposals a day.”

To establish objectives for the day and the week, Chorpenning reserves for himself two-and-a-half hours each morning behind his firmly closed office door when he meets with “two people”: himself and his pipeline. “Unless the office is burning down, I’m not to be disturbed,” he says. “It’s like I’m not there. This takes rigorous discipline, but you have to evaluate your opportunities, activities and invitations, and make sure they’re aligning with your goals.”

It’s not always business relationships that require thoughtful consideration; sometimes, a friend’s request to get together for a quick bite to eat has to be weighed too, in light of that day’s objectives. “I definitely have to get better at saying no,” says Chorpenning. “Someone will call and say, ‘Let’s get coffee or lunch,’ and of course I want to, but I have to make sure I’m on track with hitting my goals for the day and week. Because we’re not looking for just anything. We want Fortune 100 events in Hawaii or Pebble Beach. Are they planning on spending $150 a person at an event in Cancun with 250 attendees? We want to talk to them.”

Takeaways:

  1. Know your ideal customer.
  2. Focus on those orders that will result in better margins.
  3. Stick like glue to your daily goals.
Read This

Distributor Doug Chorpenning offers up his recommended reads:

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
“McKeown talks about determining what’s essential and what’s not, and focusing only on what’s essential. I pick it up constantly and just read excerpts from it to keep me on track.”

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
“It’s about the rigorous pursuit of that one most important thing in your work life, personal life or spiritual life. You have to have a laser focus, every day, on what you want.”