Like most people, this year I intend to make good on my New Year’s resolution. It’s actually more of a life resolution than it is a New Year’s resolution in much the same way that salespeople should make theirs a career resolution. If it’s important enough then it shouldn't be for only one year.
I’ve compiled a list of resolutions that all salespeople should make and follow. Some will likely surprise you but they are all necessary to become more successful. Enjoy the 10 most important elements for New Year's Resolutions That All Salespeople Must Make. Here we go!
- Stretch. Everyone begins the year with goals but they tend to be goals that will either be easy to reach or impossible. A stretch goal is important but it can’t be some random number. Sell this much, sell this many, earn this much, or pay this debt won’t work. The goal must be for something special, important, exciting, and compelling that the numbers will help you achieve.
- Believe. Your stretch goal doesn’t become real until you believe in it. Think back to when you were younger and obsessed about that bike, game console, go-kart, dress, date, musical instrument, sports win, computer or toy. You never stopped hoping and wishing and believing and you can't stop believing now.
- Commit. Now that you have identified something exciting and believe that it can be accomplished, you must commit to it. Whatever it takes.
- Stuffed. Achieving your goals is dependent on a lot of things but none more crucial than always having a full pipeline. You can’t sell six if there are only four opportunities in your pipeline. First determine what it will take to sell one. Working backwards, how many opportunities are required in each stage of the pipeline in order for you to sell that one using your own conversion ratios? (Averages are in parenthesis - actual mileage may vary)
- Closable - has indicated intent to buy from you at a specific time (2)
- Qualified - thoroughly qualified to buy from you at a specific time (4)
- Prospects - there are compelling reasons to buy from you (8)
- Suspects - first meeting has been scheduled (12)
In this typical scenario, 26 opportunities must be in the pipeline at all times in order to sell one in a week, month, quarter or year or whatever your x per y is. x is the number you must sell and y is the time frame, like 4 per month. Multiply the numbers above by x.
- Discipline. When you are fully committed to your mission, you will be disciplined. It means that you will perform the required activities even when you don't want to. Back in the 1950's, insurance executive Albert Gray said something along the lines of, "The difference between successful salesmen [note - this was his wording circa 1950] and everyone else is that the successful salesmen will always do what they don't want to do while everyone else doesn't." Discipline also means no distractions. Identify what can and does distract you and swear off of it during the work day. Period.
- Consistent. This is about routines. You must have a business development routine that you follow each day. Whether you use the phone, knock on doors, send out emails, connect via social media or follow up on leads to generate new business, you must follow the same routine each and every day,
- Exceptions. This is the hidden key. Make no exceptions. While my resolution in 2019 is to eliminate flour and sugar from my diet, I know that if I make just one exception I've blown the day. If I blow the day, I'll rationalize that I might as well blow the week too. And a blown week becomes a month blown and the plan fails. Make. No. Exceptions.
- Improvement. Commit to self-development and a goal of becoming just 10% better at every aspect of selling. Check out this article to see how a 10% improvement in effectiveness leads to a 33% increase in revenue.
- Efficiency. Commit to using tools that will make you more efficient. I'm not a big proponent of all-in-one solutions that do everything because they compromise on everything. These are my recommendations:
- Pipeline management - Membrain
- Call Efficiency - Have 5+ conversations per hour with prospects using ConnectAndSell
- Scheduling - YouCanBookMe
- Finding Someone's Email - FindThatEmail
- Automated Email Reminders - FollowUpThen
- Who Best to Introduce you to Targeted Prospects - Reachable
- Powerful Task list that synchronizes across all devices and platforms - ToDo
- Easily Share large files - WeTransfer
- Easily share content with prospects, look great doing it and track when they visit and what they review - Postwire
- Trust the process. Sales process is crucial to success. Once you have a customized, formal, staged, milestone-centric sales process, trust it. If the process works and has a built-in custom scorecard, trust it. It won't steer you wrong. Review this article on customized scorecards. Watch the video in this article to better understand what an ideal sales process looks like.
There you have it. My surefire 10-step resolution to make your new year your best year.
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