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Sales Eye - 12 New Year's Sales Resolutions for 2004 (Jan 12th, 2004)



12 New Year's Sales Resolutions for 2004

12 January 2004


January is a good time to reflect on your successes and failures in 2003, and to prepare a plan to succeed in 2004. Everybody makes New Year's Resolutions!


You know the typical ones, such as the things you will start doing - exercising, saving money and improving your personal relationships. And how about those things you promise to stop doing this year - smoking, drinking and procrastinating? It is no surprise that if you do prepare this list, the same items may appear on them every year.


This year, we felt it would be useful to put some "sales resolutions" in writing. Action that you know you can improve upon this year, and some things that you should stop doing. There is no better time than the present, so get out a pen and paper and prepare your list of sales resolutions for 2004.


1.Get organized.
It's a sad fact that salespeople aren't the most organized people in the office. But this year, strive to make a change. Organize your desk/work area, computer files, client files, and organize an events calendar for 2004. Throw away magazines, old files, broken staplers - anything that doesn't work. Strive to make your work environment clean and efficient, and keep it that way.


2. Call all your customers from last year in January.

Call them and thank them for doing business with you last year. Wish them Happy New Year, and then let them know you will be available in 2004. Inform them when your new catalogues or offers will be ready and see if they have any needs at the beginning of the year.


3. Go to more business mixers.

It surprises us how many salespeople don't take advantage of this great opportunity to meet 30 new prospects in one evening. Get a calendar (see Get organized) and plan to be at these events.


4. Learn something new.

Don't wait for your company to provide training. Buy motivational books to read at home and audiocassettes to listen to in your car on the way to work. Maybe you want to improve your language skills, Polish, English or other. Does your company have contact management software or other computer programs essential to your job? Make it your goal to become an expert, the best in the office! Also, it doesn't hurt to learn more about your client's business.


5. Get out of the office.

It's cold in Poland during January, so resist the urge to sit around all day talking about how cold it is in Poland in January! First thing in the morning, start making calls to clients and prospects. Schedule a time to stop in and talk about their plans for the upcoming year. Chances are there is a hot cup of coffee or tea waiting for you at your next meeting.


6. Join a fitness club

Sounds like one for your personal life, but health clubs are great places to make new contacts and network. It will also give you more energy, and make you feel and look better. Pack on more weight on the barbell instead of your gut.


7. Double your sales!

Find the biggest potential customers in your region and call them. It's shocking how successful you can be if you just call people and ask for business. Offer to do something for them for free, so they can see how good you are. Don't wait for clients to come to you or for your manager to assign you big leads.


8. Stop making excuses.

Our prices are too high, the clients don't want to meet, it's too cold outside! Take responsibility for your own actions, and start selling. Nobody wants to work with, for, or next to a whiner. If clients don't want to meet, call someone who does. If you can't close a deal, learn why you are losing (hint: maybe it's you, not your company) and make some changes so you can start winning.


9. Improve your paperwork.

Does your boss always rant and rave about why nobody does sales reports on time? There is a reason for this - after all, how can she know what you're doing and what problems you are having, if you never do your reports? Don't treat this as a pain-in-the-butt part of the job, but rather as an opportunity to discuss what the real issues and obstacles are in your job. Most times these reports are for your use as much as your manager's.


10. Plan your week not your day.

Don't come to work without a plan already in place. Why not start scheduling your meetings for the following week, so that by Friday, your entire next week is full. Set aside time each week to review your plan and make adjustments. Allot yourself time to make calls, deal with current clients and search for new opportunities.


11. Stop wasting time.

Do you really get any leads searching ONET, or are you just wasting time? Email and the internet are valuable tools, but they are also colossal time wasters. When you are at work, try to maximize the time you spend in selling situations. It is much easier to sell when you are in front of a prospect than when you are in front of a computer screen. Here is a bonus goal - be the first sales rep. into the office three days a week!


12. Set your goals.

Put your goals in writing. You have a much better chance of reaching your goals if you write them down clearly and give them a deadline.


You don't have to try to accomplish everything. If you do, chances are that by March, you will have accomplished nothing, and will be back to your old ways. Instead, try to focus on a few "realistic goals." It helps to concentrate on resolutions that you have been thinking about for some time. Establish a measurable goal or a desired result of your action, and it should be clear when you do reach your goal.


It is widely believed that this year will be a return to health for the Polish economy. That, combined with Poland's entry into the European Union in May, makes 2004 the best opportunity for sales success in recent times. Good luck, now get out there!



From Warsaw Business Journal by John Lynch, Matt Lynch -"The Sales Brothers"