Renewed year

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:21 pm

Get off to a good sales start in 2001with a thoughtful, disciplined approach

A lot of salespeople have been saying, "Wow, 2000 went fast." Now we’re starting a new year, with goals and expectations and optimism.
You might be right in the middle of your fiscal year but, nevertheless, the new year is always a good time to pause to review past accomplishments, as well as plans for the new year. Remember last year at this time? The term "Y2K" was officially history, and salespeople everywhere were "starting over" with brand-new goals, and renewed enthusiasm.
Now it’s time to do it again, and here are a few tips to get the year off to a flying start. It’s the Streetfighter’s approach to sales planning, and it includes three undeniable elements: a look back, a look ahead, and a powerful dose of personal discipline.
Why look back? Because you want to keep doing all the good things, and make changes to the bad. When reviewing the previous year, look at three things:
1) Account trends. (Are they spending more, the same, or less throughout the year? What are the trends in your customer’s industries?)
2) Isolated sales. These may be blips on your radar screen that could cloud reality. Examples include one-time sales that gave your year a huge boost. You’ll need a specific, aggressive plan to replace it.
3) New business seeds. Did you start doing business with companies with growth potential? Those smaller sales, if nurtured, are growth potential for 2001.

Now, let’s take a look ahead. Selling never just "happens." It takes planning, and lots of it. Why not use this Streetfighter’s tool: reverse goal-setting. After setting your sales goal, determine how many sales you’ll need to get there, then multiply that number by the number of proposals you’ll need to present. If your call-to-close ratio (e.g.: out of 10 proposals, you close five), you’ll have to make twice the number of proposals. You’ll have to make four times as many appointments. Break those down by the number you’ll need to make every week, and you’ve got a plan with teeth.

Now for that powerful dose of personal discipline. Old habits die hard. Setting and achieving new goals will often mean doing things differently. Let’s say you’ve discovered that you’ve got to be seeing more customers more often, but don’t know where you’ll find the time to do it. That’s not uncommon, but there are solutions. One is to cluster set appointments with cold calls in the same area. Another is to attend trade association and business group meetings, where you can meet and talk with more than one prospect at a time.
So take one last look back, a hard look ahead, get your action plan together and get going. And here’s to a happy New (sales) Year.

Joe Guertin is an Oak Creek-based speaker/trainer and sales coach. He can be contacted at 414-762-2450, or by e-mail to

Ten tips
for setting and achieving New Year’s goals
1) Get organized
Get last year’s results and this year’s goals together.
2) Review 2000
What happened? Why? How can you use the experience to improve 2001?
3) Review your market
Are new markets available to you? Has competition changed?
4) Set specific goals
What, exactly, do you want to accomplish?
5) Break them down
What, exactly, will you have to do to achieve them (monthly, weekly)?
6) Keep them highly visible
Written goals can be a constant reminder.
7) Make them measurable
How will you monitor your progress?
8) Build an action plan
Tasks only count if they’re accomplished.
9) Feed your mind
Read books and magazines. Attend training seminars.
10) Be disciplined
It takes you to make it happen.

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