2020 has been an interesting year. As Nietzsche stated, “Whatever doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.” Close what you can and dust your hands off. The year is almost over!
Every new year should generate excitement and new energy. The sales world has changed, and the new reality is going to require new thinking, a new attitude, new skills, new people, and new places. Your upside in 2021 is tremendous!
Albert Einstein is famous for saying, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” This sentiment is more important now, than it has ever been. This is precisely the time to start planning to achieve a fast start to the new year. While we will certainly have to experience more of the same 2020 residual challenges, many are forecasting we will start to regain business balance later in the second quarter. This should help create a sense of optimism and resolute commitment to making 2021 a breakout year.
The opportunities are only limited by our imagination. The great news is key executives are looking for ideas they can embrace to accelerate their business results. By thinking creatively about provocative ideas that link to their key initiatives, goals, and strategies, we can be a valued resource to them. Do you know what your clients are focused on? It is critical you find out and then brainstorm ways you can help accelerate their achievement.
Another key sales approach is to vow to broaden the search for people we are targeting to develop new business relationships. We cannot continue to talk with the “usual suspects” and expect different results. We will yield bigger and better results by taking greater risks and reaching out to people we have not spoken to before. Building a “hit list” is one way to do exactly that. Take an inventory of the people that hold the titles you need to speak with and outline the idea you would like to discuss. This is like building a marketing campaign. Who are you going to target? What are you going to say to them? How are you going to deliver the message to attract their attention? Intelligent activity always yields results.
2021 is also the year to leave your comfort zone. If you are intent on having a successful and breakout year, now is the time to leave comfort and fear behind. This is where you DECIDE you are going to inject activities into your routine you may have avoided in the past. Be daring! There is a well-known saying, “Everything you have always wanted is on the other side of fear.” Unfortunately, too many of us have allowed our comfort zone to dictate our results. That must stop immediately. The new year presents you with the opportunity to set a new standard.
The Spanish Conquistador, Hernan Cortez, was famous for burning his ships when they landed on the shores of the New World. His actions were a strong message to his men that there would be no turning back. They would only move forward to achieve success or perish. We must do the same. Seek to destroy your old sales approach and embrace a new attitude. Seek to develop new skills and competencies. Challenge yourself to hold nothing back.
Every person that has achieved greatness has also had the benefit of experienced mentors and coaches. Who can you approach to coach you and demand excellence from you? Being coachable is one of the secrets of success. Where do you have weaknesses? We are all proud of our past accomplishments and our experience. Both are fleeting. We can quickly lose our edge if we are not continually sharpening our skills. What are the three things you really need to learn to do or need to do better? Write these down and list the people that can help you turn these weaknesses into strengths.
Ask yourself this question, “Where is your money going to come from in 2021?” The answer will be determined by new thinking. There are certainly existing places you can sell to and existing solutions that will help you achieve a portion of your goal. The critical question is what new places can you sell to and what new solutions can you share? The mixture of existing and new will greatly increase your probability of achieving or exceeding your plan.
The year 2021 is only a short time away. Embrace it with a new sense of optimism and excitement. We cannot rewrite our results for 2020, but we certainly can pen a new chapter in 2021!
These three things will help you quickly create a fast track to success in the new year:
- List your weaknesses. Who can coach or mentor you?
- Create a “hit list” of people within your clients and the ideas that you need to share with them.
- How can you creatively help your client achieve key initiatives and goals?