The new year is a great opportunity to start fresh.
Here are the TOP TEN tried-and-true resolutions you should share with all your salespeople to start 2019 on a high note.
1. Stop beating yourself up.
Salespeople face rejection. Every. Single. Day.
Occasionally, it’s their fault. In most cases, it’s not.
That’s why it’s important to stop viewing every “no” as a failure. Focusing on losses leads to depression, burn out and eventually, actual failure.
Instead of maintaining a list of deals gone wrong, transform it into a document of lessons learned. It will help identify positive things you can do to sell better. Over time, you’ll find that you stop repeating mistakes. You’ll also be able to track how you’ve grown over time, rather than failed.
2. Admit there ARE things you don’t know.
Some salespeople believe they must know it all. That’s never a good assumption. It alienates co-workers and contributes to delivering negative customer experiences.
If you don’t have answers to questions, admit it. Explain that you’ll do whatever it takes to get the best ones possible. It will reassure your clients and coworkers that when you deliver an answer, you really DO know it all.
What if you have valuable information about something that no one else does? Many salespeople keep it to themselves.
It’s the wrong thing to do. Not sharing knowledge is by definition selfish. It might make you the best-informed person in the company for a little while. However, you’ll come across as less than generous when your secret is revealed.
You’re better off sharing what you know with others. They’ll do the same with you, which will only increase your knowledge base and make you better at what you do.
4. Don’t put off prospecting.
When many reps are about to close a deal, they focus on it exclusively, ignoring everything else, including prospecting. Putting it offsets you up for a bad cycle after your sale. Even worse, you have no backup plan should the deal be delayed or not close.
Schedule regular times on your calendar for prospecting every week. Make it a point to never skip this activity, no matter what’s going on. If necessary, reschedule the time. It will help ensure you always have an active pipeline to turn to.
5. Slow down.
Everyone does it: You have a hot lead and decide to jump ahead in the sales process and go for the close. Why ask discovery questions when you can book a demo and seal the deal instead?
The truth is, more deals are blown early in the sales process than late in it. Inadequate discovery makes it more likely you’ll recommend the wrong solution to a prospective client’s problems. Of course, that shuts things down before you ever have a chance.
If you do one thing in 2019: Slow things down, trust the sales process and follow it.
6. Do your research.
The only way to deliver customized experiences to clients and prospects is to learn something that makes them unique and celebrate it:
- Do they enjoy baseball? Take them to a game.
- Is there a special coffee they like? Show up with a cup.
- Do they prefer a particular type of music? Play it while they’re in the car with you.
Customized experiences don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful, they simply have to be thoughtful.
7. Say “no” every now and then.
Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you may not have the right solution for every sales opportunity. Prospects and clients will appreciate your honesty and it’s likely they’ll recommend you to others who are better fits.
8. Live with purpose.
Wake up every day and acknowledge that you have a purpose greater than achieving your quota. Set broader goals for each and every day, week, month and year. Make it a point to structure your schedule — and life — to help you achieve those goals.
What goals could be bigger than achieving your sales quota? How about:
- Learning to be a better public speaker
- Finding ways to connect with others more meaningfully
- Reading books and listening to podcasts that expose you to fresh ideas.
None of these things are about selling, but they will help you sell better in the long run.
9. Stop complaining and do something about it.
What do you find yourself complaining about?
- Lead quality
- Difficult clients
- Poor sales support materials?
Where has it gotten you? Probably nowhere.
Use 2019 to actively solve problems rather than just talk about them. It will go a long way toward helping you stand out from the complainers by becoming a problem solver.
10. Walk the walk.
Take a few minutes during the holidays to ask yourself: “Do I walk the walk, or merely talk the talk?”
Be honest. Are you living, working and selling at your full potential, or merely acting like it? The new year is a perfect time for a reset so you can once again become your best you.