This is one of the few times in a year where professionals across virtually every industry can look at their goals with hope and excitement.
Unfortunately, for the bulk of goal setters out there, this excitement lasts usually until the end of the first quarter (often much sooner) – at which point they realize they’ve burned through 25% of the year with little progress on those new year’s plans that offered so much to look forward to a couple months prior.
Don’t let this be you! Regardless of how 2016 ended, it’s now behind us. Your full focus should be on making 2017 your best year yet, and the best time to take action is immediately. Let me help you by highlighting some simple disciplines that will send your sales skyrocketing this year.
1. Create an account management plan that includes a monthly touch point with all of your current customers. This could be a phone call, business review, courtesy call, email, call from the customer service team, call from your manager, personal letter, thank you gift etc. The options are endless, and the results are always a boost in loyalty and sales.
2. Ask for internal referrals every week. Plan who you want to be referred to and ask a direct question such as “I would like to meet your VP of the western divisions. Can I tell him about work we have done together?”
3. Build out the contacts within your own client sites. Make sure you know who the “back up contact” is as well as your buyer’s peers, superiors and direct reports. Sales acceleration is contact quantity plus contact quality.
4. Hire right and fire fast. Deadwood on your team will not create acceleration.
5. Make one more call every day.
6. Take your manager on a sales call with you for immediate and directly coaching feedback. Or, if you’re a sales leader yourself, be more proactive about providing prompt and specific feedback for your team to improve.
7. Embrace new media to reach your clients.
8. Have a reactivation campaign. Make weekly calls to clients previously lost.
9. Clean up your pipeline and get rid of the deals that are never going to close. Focus more time on those deals that will close and use your new free time to find new and better opportunities.
10. Start a client advisory panel. Bring your best clients together for a day to gain ideas on how better to serve them treat them to a first class experience and a celebratory dinner at the end.
11. Write letters of recommendation and testimonials for your best clients (instead of asking for them) send them to their bosses and post them on LinkedIn.
12. Start an internal company newsletter to share client success stories and wins. The better all employees feel about your business, the more opportunities they will spot to grow.
13. Convert your customer service, support, operations and finance departments into profit centres! How can every employee in the company move from being a cost, to being a profit?
14. Attend a workshop, read a book, attend a conference, watch a video. Take learning into your own hands this year and implement new ideas that will accelerate your sales.
15. Be micro-ambitious. Set a goal for the week. Focus on it intensely and exceed it. Operate this year as a series of weekly sprints rather than the usual annual marathon.
16. Take a weekly sabbatical. Block off a few hours every week just to think about key issues in your business. How can you serve customers better? How can you organize your time better? How can you manage your territory better?
17. Appreciate your sales team more often, don’t just let them assume they’re doing a good job. Positively reinforce behavior from your employees that you want repeated.
Finally, implement now. Pick one item on the list that immediately resonates with you and start implementing today.
[bctt tweet=”You have 12 months to go…and you’re not going to be able to say that for very much longer.” username=”EngageColleen”]
What’s one other thing you’re going to implement this year to make 2017 your best year yet?