Winning with Leslie Groene December 2013
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Finish 2013 Strong so You Can Start 2014 Right!
The end of the year is right around the corner, which means there's still time to finish strong!

One of the most important reasons for finishing strong in 2013 is it becomes a springboard for starting 2014. I always find it ironic that at this time of year, many salespeople either go into panic mode or they go into coasting mode. If you go into panic mode, it may be because you are now feeling a sense of urgency to make your annual number or goal. The problem with panic mode in the sales world is that salespeople tend to do stupid things.

Or they decide to stop prospecting because of made up perceptions- "Clients are too busy", "It's the holidays, so I can wait until next year"- and coast until next year which means you can waste 4-6 weeks of selling time.

Additionally if you go into coasting mode, you start doing an internal dialogue with along the lines of, "If I can't hit my numbers in 2013, I'll just make up for it in the first quarter of 2014."

Don't get me wrong - I want you to hit the gate running in 2014. I just think if you coast now, you won't be able to psych yourself up enough to compensate for your poor performance in the 4th quarter of 2013.

Don't panic. And don't coast.

Instead, begin right now to mine your current customer list and your prospecting list. Set weekly goals that are slightly above the goals you would normally have for this time of year.

Stop "preparing" to make calls, and just make them. Challenge yourself to make at least 5 phone calls before 9 a.m. each day.

Even if you feel you are skilled at questioning, review your current list of questions and add at least 2-3 more questions that will better reveal the customer's needs and pains.

Believe that you can get full price. If you are like many salespeople, you may associate the 4th quarter with deep discounts. The only way you are going to break that association is to replace it with something else. I suggest you replace it with the belief that not only can you get full price, but that you are worth full price.

Stop hanging out with negative people. If there are negative colleagues in your office with whom you daily connect, change your routine or simply consume yourself with being on the phone with prospects and customers.

You cannot afford to have negative people moving you into panic mode or coast mode.

The above are just a few suggestions that will help you finish 2013 strong so you can start 2014 right. I'm sure you could come up with additional ideas that more uniquely fit your particular industry or selling situation.

Focus Point
31. Be mindful of today's rules for office conduct.
Today's successful sales professionals will avoid jeopardizing their careers by entering into a romantic involvement with a boss or colleague. They will avoid questionable displays of affection for a staff member or other party. They will be extra careful about the language they use in business communications.

No matter what you really meant and even if you thought it was funny and/or harmless, it can get you fired. Each day brings new examples of tasteless attempts at humor that were included in official firm e-mails or advisories, and the outcome is usually devastating for the offending party.

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