9 Steps Toward Better Sales in 2014

Another year is ending…and another year is upon us. It’s amazing how that happens at the exact same time year in and year out, isn’t it? One thing we can count on is taxes, and every January 1st, it’s time to reset the sales clock and start climbing the mountain. The bigger question and the biggest variable is what you can do differently this year to make a bigger impact on your sales results.

Whether you had a great, good, or not-so-good year in 2013, the real issue here is, Are you ready to examine the field in which you sell and make adjustments and upgrades where you need to? This is for any smart business leader, and we all will have opportunities to sell more in 2014 – whether it’s products, services, widgets, or ourselves. Right about now, I love to quote Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Before you get all upset, I am not suggesting that you are insane. I am suggesting that we all take the time to adjust our sales behaviors to meet the demands of 2014! To that end, here are nine things I want you to start doing today. (These apply to all of us, regardless of our value proposition!)

  1. Make sure you ask (CLOSE) for something after every conversation. Stop saying things like “Send me some dates” or “Let me know what works for you.” You want something to happen, so you need to take control and offer two choices and close for the action step.
  2. Know your clients’ business. Do you know how your clients make money? How do they calculate success and measure whether you are successful for them? You better know this! If you don’t, ask them now, and have a great conversation.
  3. Know your (sales) rights! If you have done everything right, then you have earned the right to ask for something. Do it. Ask and you shall receive.
  4. Create a “call to action” with everything you do. Simply put, if you don’t help people make a decision by giving them a limited number of concrete choices, you won’t get a decision, movement, or any outcome!
  5. Make things achievable. Salespeople tend to panic when the goal for the next year is handed to them. It is often seen as a mountain that needs to be ascended, and it can feel overwhelming! Here’s the key: Break it down to numbers and activities that are achievable on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
  6. Learn something new. Think you have enough knowledge in a world that changes every second? You don’t. Neither do I. What will you commit to for learning and self-development in the new year? Your clients and colleagues won’t buy you if you are behind the times.
  7. Make and return more calls. I promised myself when I was writing this that I wouldn’t get on my “I hate email and texting” soapbox. I guess I didn’t make it. Enough said. Talk more and save your finger and thumb strength (less typing and texting).
  8. Ask your clients for referrals. The easiest place to find more business is from your satisfied clients. Obvious, huh? It’s amazing how many people are afraid to ask. Don’t be. I promise it won’t hurt!
  9. Remember that “Vulnerability Is Nobility.” Check in more and assume less. How do you know you have done a good job or have satisfied colleagues’ or clients’ needs? Be vulnerable and don’t be fearful of the response. Good or bad, it’s the best chance you may have to strengthen a relationship and sell more and get what you want and deserve.

The nine items above are behavior switches that we can all make…and cost us nothing. They are easy, and if you adopt a proactive perspective to your selling in 2014, you will find that it’s actually quite easy to make them all part of your daily repertoire.

6 thoughts on “9 Steps Toward Better Sales in 2014”

  1. One other interesting thought process … did you know that owners and managers are actually upset if you don’t ask for their business after covering all the bases? Is this just a waste of their time, or are you going to close on the order?
    They expect to ask for their business … go ahead and make their day.

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