Will your next 365 days be different than the last?

365 days to be GREAT!! It’s a brand New Year and you know what that means don’t you?  Time for those New Year’s Resolutions for all of us!  It seems that everyone is vowing that “This year will be different!  This year I will stick to my commitments and see things through to the finish line.”

For those of you in the profession of sales, I suggest the following four New Year’s Resolutions in the form of a SAKS report
(Start, Accelerate, Keep, Stop)

For years you have wanted to get better.  For years you’ve been meaning to read a little more, take a couple of courses, and get in “Sales Shape” for the battles you face every day.  This year, let’sSTART down that path to being a smarter, more skilled professional that demands more attention from the customer and earns the rewards that come with that!  How will you do that?  First off, COMMIT to do it.  It will not happen on its own!  You must start by determining the areas in which you need to get additional training, exposure and growth.

Accelerate (increase) your visibility in your marketplace ten-fold this year! Today’s Internet based world allows salespeople to not only be better prepared for every sales call (prospects and customers too, by the way) it affords the salesperson multiple ways to become KNOWN by the marketplace into which they call.  Think about it!  Prior to a few short years ago, salespeople had to rely solely on their face-to-face relationship development skills and the “Good old boy” network to grow their exposure in their marketplace.  A lot of “windshield time” was necessary to stay in front of prospects, customers and clients in one’s territory. Today, sales professionals can CREATE a BRAND for themselves and drive that brand awareness via multiple channels on the web.

I’d like to use the KEEP element of our list to focus you on the things you must stay on top of.  I typically think about the phrase “keep your head down and keep running.”  It reminds me that no matter what I am going through, if I stay on it, I can accomplish it.
So, what are the things that you do that “make hay every day?”  Most people don’t try to get better at things at which they already do well.  They believe that their existing level of competence (or excellence) will carry them to “the next level.”  I suggest that we all continue to polish and sharpen our swords regularly.  World champions in almost any endeavor are constantly in search of that next “edge” that helps them perform a tenth of a second faster or get the extra yard out of their shot!  The world champions KNOW that they can raise their game and, in doing so, make the competition that much more irrelevant.  Where can you KEEP your head down to improve?

This is one area that all of us need to take a good hard look every year.  There are things that we do, some by design, some by habit each and every day that impede our progress and stunt our growth.  Thousands of managers, coaches, mentors, and parents all over the country spend a good portion of each and every day pointing these things out to those whom they work with and raise.  The mark of a true winner is the ability and willingness to step back and assess their success and what causes or impedes it on a regular basis.

So, there is a starter kit for you on 4 New Year’s Resolutions that will propel you into greater success in the next 365 days.  The profession that you have chosen is one for grown-ups and champions!  It requires more from you, better from you every day!   Now go out there and focus on the possible!  Be your BEST to beat the rest!