Forget the resolutions for less food and more exercise. You can always make them later. How about some resolutions to help you sell that are free of calories and require no gym visits? You’ll be more motivated to keep them and they’ll be good for business.
1. I’ll think more this year. Have you ever noticed that action is more valued in selling than thinking about the action? Managers will measure numbers of sales calls, not the planning or research that went into the execution of the sales call. Thinking is as important to selling success as the actions we do in selling. Sales calls are more likely to succeed when you think and plan before the sales call. More thinking is needed not only before the sales call. It’s after the call as well. When you thoughtfully address what went well, you have the opportunity to repeat it. When you think and identify what went poorly you can fix it and avoid doing it again. You only get to learn from your failures when you’ve thought about them and uncovered what went wrong.
2. I’m going to listen more. The best salespeople simply are the best listeners. They listen with both their ears and eyes. That they listen more gets them more information that they can use to sell effectively. They notice facial expressions to tell them when their customer is concerned. They hear hesitation in a customer’s voice to notice a lack of commitment to a current supplier. They listen for reporting relationships to determine who has buying power and influence. When you combine listening more with listening better you’ll see how your selling gets better results.
3. I’m going to take better care of myself. A lot of salespeople remind me of mothers. They take care of everyone else and put themselves last on the list. What brings you joy? Is it reading, relaxing or do you even know? If you haven’t thought about this, see the first resolution. If you know what brings you joy, how many times this week are you doing what makes you happy? If you are too busy, start setting goals. Then learn to say no to anything that is outside your goals. The time you’ve saved is now for you to enjoy. You are as important as your customers. You are the only one who will take the time to care for you.
4. I’m going to stay away from energy vampires. Who are energy vampires? These are the people who can suck the joy out of anyone. When you make a tough sale, notice who shares your joy—and who does not. Why wouldn’t people be as happy for you as they would be for themselves? Because they’re energy vampires. They’re everywhere and if you’re in sales, your job is to spot them and avoid them. Selling is a tough profession where you are responsible for getting and staying motivated, despite the setbacks. Energy vampires make your work that much harder. Avoid them, and your work gets easier because they are distracting.
5. I’m going to try something new. Even salespeople who always make their goals should try new things. Why? What you’re doing now may not be the best way to accomplish your objectives. It’s also boring to do the same things over and over again. If you’ve always networked, try prospecting another way. If you’ve always opened the sales call with one question, try a new one. Never asked for a referral? Try asking. Who knows? The new idea may produce results that were beyond your expectations.
If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions to start eating salad with tofu and banish the cookies, add these suggestions to your list. If you haven’t thought about your diet, you’ll still want some accomplishments to celebrate this year. With these resolutions, it will be even better than dessert when you achieve great sales results. Best wishes for your successful selling new year.