How long do you think it takes for people who make New Year’s Resolutions to break them? It’s not long. According to U.S. News,approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. That’s not too long to forget about getting up early and going to the gym. It seems that getting in shape is one of the most popular resolutions that people make. How about making New Year’s sales resolutions? Just like exercise, you might have to actually do something to achieve your sales goals to be a top performer or exceed last year’s numbers. How about doing something else instead of setting New Year’s Resolutions which are likely to get tossed aside? Here’s what I suggest instead.
Guidelines are in. Resolutions are out.
I think most New Year’s resolutions fail because they are made to fail. People will say that they want to lose 20 pounds, but forget that sitting in front of a television set eating cookies isn’t going to cause the pounds to magically disappear. Instead of thinking about resolutions, why not think about setting some guidelines which focus on your sales process instead of your sales results?
You may know something about the Quality process. When a company wants better results, the workers focus on process improvement. Better results happen when the process is improved. What is it about your sales process that you want to consider? Is it the numbers of sales calls you make? Is it the quality of the prospects you’re calling on? Remember, what gets measured can be improved. It’s not enough to say you want better prospects. You must quantify something about them to make a valid guideline. You might say “I will only call on prospects of at least $X revenue.” That way you can be clear about setting your sites on calling on viable prospects. You also can’t kid yourself and call on unacceptable prospects.
Notice trouble spots.
This year instead of having to deal with frustrating problems, why not avoid them by addressing them now? Is someone you work with unreliable? For example, you might need credit approval before setting up an account. Unfortunately, your co-worker continues to miss the lead time you agreed on and promise your customers. That won’t work for you in 2019.
One option is to have a conversation with your co-worker to find out what’s causing the excessive delay. Maybe you’re not doing something that’s required by another department. It’s always preferred if you can fix the delay.
What’s even more important is to recognize when it can’t be fixed. You might not be contributing to the problem. That’s when you must develop another plan to get your time requirements met. Yes, you might have to have a conversation with a manager. It might be uncomfortable for you. I predict it will be more uncomfortable for you if you continue to deal with the same problems you dealt with in the past. This year have a plan to fix your trouble spots. Start by noticing them.
Pay more attention to you.
I was going to suggest that you have more fun this year. That sounds too much like a resolution. It’s more difficult each year to disconnect and relax with all the technology hijacking our attention. Saying you will have more fun is like saying you will lose 20 pounds. Instead, ask yourself what brings you joy. Is it 15 minutes a day of quiet? Is it one day a week of true rest and no work? Schedule on a weekly basis whatever brings you joy. I mean write it into your calendar.
Tell your family your goal so your kids know when you are “off the clock” and need some quiet. Tell your customers that you don’t reply to emails over the weekends. Have a process for handling true emergencies.
Let your 2019 truly be different this year. Forget making resolutions. Just choose a few things that will truly help you accomplish great things in sales.