|1. Forget Resolutions – Make a Plan. Nobody accomplishes anything of significance by trying to do it all at once. Most people want to magically move from point A to point Z, but don’t have even an outline of a plan to get from point A to point B, and from point B to point C and so on. While it’s easy to Picture Yourself & the Life You Want, the difficult part is actually getting there. Break lofty goals up into manageable steps and your likelihood of success increases tenfold.
Sales people make the mistake of not having a good plan for growing existing accounts and at the same time, finding new clients. These things need to be going on concurrently within a well developed plan.
2. Focus on Your Strengths. Backsliding is not failure. It’s easy to see what we haven’t accomplished, rather than the steps that we have taken. Any effort or energy you give to what you haven’t accomplished will only slow you down. Celebrate every accomplishment, keep the momentum, and look toward the future. Make sure that you maximize your strengths, and minimize weaknesses.
If you are a good networker, then spend more time in that environment looking for leads and referrals. If you are a more technical type of sales rep, then find interesting, relevant white papers or case studies to help clients gain an understanding of how you can help them with their business objectives.
3. Learn Something New. There is no better way to continually evolve as a human-being than to make a commitment to life-long learning. I meet people everyday who act like they have nothing more to learn. Even the biggest ‘know-it-all’ doesn’t know everything. Education paves a pathway to success. I believe you can never be too educated. This year, take a class about something of interest to you, be it personal or career oriented – you’ve probably been meaning to but haven’t gotten around to it. If not this year, then when?
Make sure you are up to speed on all of the new technology, industry updates, professional changes and evolving business dynamics so that you are well versed to provide your clients with the most strategic solutions that will help their business.
4. Live Gratefully and Give Something Back. Be aware of the wonderful things in your life and find an outlet to give back a fraction of what you enjoy, such as a charity, animal shelter, church group, mentoring program or career training center. Giving back feeds our souls and enables us to gain perspective on all that we have and how we can become even more successful.
5. Spend Time with Positive People. Surround yourself with people who support your goals and endeavors. Spending time with people that bring us down or focus the negative side of things challenges our focus and positive attitude – both of which are essential to achieving success.
6. Relax and Take Time for Yourself. You can’t achieve any goal if you are uninspired, overworked, and out of balance. Take time out and be good to yourself. Read the good books you never seem to have time for. If you are not adding knowledge to your mind and nurturing your soul you can’t grow.
Take pride in your profession and your industry.
I’m currently doing sales seminars for a major financial firm’s regional offices. It is a source of pride for all sales professionals to see that the financial and legal communities now completely embrace marketing and business development programs.
Another source of pride for sales people involves maximizing sales and marketing opportunities. Income is a primary accomplishment in all industries, including ours, of course; and we all can take satisfaction in knowing that many leading sales professionals earn mid-six-figure incomes. At my most recent thank-you luncheon for my client base and networking group, many heavy hitters attended. So many, in fact, that I said the sales people present probably were responsible for about 25% of the print jobs in Southern California that year!
While on this topic, I want to make an important point about why we do what we do in our profession. A few years ago, I attended a “Lifetime Achievement Night for Max Goodrich,” a sales legend in the printing industry. At the podium that night, he said how honored he was to have had the privilege of serving his clients and his firm. He confided that this was what mattered most to him.