Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Diets Don’t Work. Neither Do Once-a-Year Resolutions

January 7, 2015

It’s just a new calendar page, really, but it represents new beginnings to many people. What you should do to make a fresh start — over and over — in 2015.

Todd Martin 010715

We’re a week into the New Year. The ranks that frequent fitness clubs have swelled. Smokers are trying to quit, and most people have cut back on their calories. Curmudgeons are doing their best to think positive and be nicer to people.

Many resolutions have been made – and already broken.

As for the overeating part: Some nutrition experts warn against dieting. Instead, they say, we need to find a way to eat that helps us lose or maintain weight – and that we can live with forever.

I like to take that approach when New Year’s Day rolls around. It’s a good time to tighten our belts (both personally and professionally), reflect on what worked and what didn’t in the previous year, and implement changes that can make the next 12 months more productive and successful. This “recommitment to excellence,” as I like to call it, can be energizing.

But I try to recapture that spark throughout the year, not just on January 1. For one thing, it works. For another, it makes my January re-evaluation that much easier since I’ve been through it numerous times during the previous year.

You might start by taking these steps I’m about to describe once a quarter. If you find yourself falling back into old habits, do it at the beginning of every month.

  • Congratulate yourself for what you did accomplish. Do this first, before you start in on your not-so-successful efforts. I’ve heard of people who get a big jar and put a brief note into it every time something good happens, and then open it at the end of the year. You don’t have to use a jar, but dedicate a small notebook or digital file for storing your accomplishments, and then read it when you’re struggling to identify positive achievements.
  • Do a thorough de-cluttering of your CRM application. (Don’t have one? Getting one – or encouraging your sales manager to introduce one to the team – should be a priority.) Pull out the dead weight, the longshot deals that you know will never materialize. Remove inactive customers (but store them in a separate file – you never know). Look for unfinished links in your pipeline chain. Update your communications logs and complete skimpy customer and prospect profiles.
  • Turn your goals into smaller chunks. There’s something really satisfying – and motivating — about checking completed tasks off of a to-do list. As you’re doing this, you’ll probably get a better sense of how realistic and attainable your goals really are, and you may decide to do some retooling.
  • Renew relationships with your manager and other team members. Even if you have a regularly-scheduled team meeting, I’ll bet a lot of your fellow salespeople jump up and rush out to appointments when the meeting is done. Redouble your efforts to keep your work relationships evolving.

Too busy to do all of this now, not to mention periodically? At least try to do a couple of them at various intervals throughout the year. It’s bound to make your look back at 2015 more informed, more focused, and – hopefully – more pleasant.

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