We’re ten days into 2017. You’ve had enough time to settle in. And you didn’t win the Powerball. Tough question: What’s going to be different this year? More specifically: What will you do this year to take your sales to the next level?
If you’re satisfied, coasting, or as a friend of ours used to say, “Livin’ large,” stop reading now and go back to doing whatever it is you do.
This won’t be one of those corny blogs that attempts to motivate you and tell you what a great year this will be.
That’s up to you.
What I will do is ask: What’s going to be different this year?
If you are not happy in your sales role; if you are not making the money you want, what will you do differently this year to change things? Blame the leads? Complain about your territory? “Dog” the competition? Bitch about your boss or supervisor?
How’d that work for you last year? And the year before?
Nope. This year will be different (if you want it to be). This year you have the choice to hold yourself accountable – to point the finger right where it should be pointed – right between your eyes.
Whatever problem a salesperson is struggling with you can bet big dollars that it can be factored down to the fact that he or she does not have enough opportunities to close business. This is because he or she does not “open” enough business. And this is because he or she is not prospecting enough. Almost every “sales” problem is a prospecting problem!
- Feeling pressure to lower your price? You probably don’t have any other logs in the fire.
- Following up with a prospect enough to classify you as a stalker? You probably don’t have any other real good opportunities.
- Spending all your time talking with a lower level nondecision makers? You probably have a wide-open calendar.
- Keeping a pipeline full of a bunch of low % opportunities. You probably have not opened any high % opportunities.
- Spending all your time “farming” current accounts waiting for one of them to “place an order.” You probably have not called a new prospect since people watched TV instead of Netflix!
Enough already! Why don’t you get out of your own way and start doing what you control? Your prospecting and sales activity. Break out of your comfort zone and start calling people and companies that buy what you sell to see what they are up to.
In the spirit of 2017 here are 5 things to do differently this year in sales:
- Make a pact to call 15 new prospects per week
- Agree to ask 15 current clients (or friends) for a referral or introduction each month
- Stop “driving by” facilities that buy your products – stop into 15 this quarter
- Thank 15 clients for their business before St. Patrick’s Day (lunch is good)
- Dig down deep into your gut and find that 5 seconds of guts it takes to do these things
Or not. You can keep bitching about your boss — it’s probably her fault anyway.