You may ask..
why a fast start for 2010?
How many times have we witnessed professional sports teams making a super human effort in that last few minutes of the game and come from behind and almost win? What if they had put the same effort, energy and enthusiasm into the game in the first 20 minutes? They would have easily won with the momentum they had created. The same theory applies the first 30 to 60 days of the new year. We all need a rest, a break or a vacation to help balance and rejuvenate ourselves and connect with our families. The challenge with a two to six week break is that we lose momentum and often find it difficult to get back into the swing of things. How well we start in January often reflects on how the year is going to go. Also, how we end off our year in November and December can have a major impact on how well we “kick-off” the New Year.
Fast Start 2010
The topic Fast Start 2010 is a timely topic, especially with the festive season just around the corner. The ideas and techniques suggested in this tune-up material are based on my experience as a sales professional and from practical actions that successful salespeople I have interviewed, use to ensure that they quickly return to an acceptable level of business after a long break from work. These techniques are not based on a textbook or some academic theory. They are based on tried and proven behaviors of successful salespeople.
Based on my interviews with successful salespeople I have discovered most of them usually start with reviewing their personal and business goals and visions towards the end of the old year. Then they adjust and change these goals and visions through contemplation as the New Year approaches. Eventually the goals and visions are crystallized and are physically written down or put on their laptop or displayed where they can see it. They then kick into action with lists and steps they need to implement to achieve the results they are looking for. They also have
specific techniques to get themselves started quickly in the New Year and methods of helping themselves stay focused and above all stay positive and enthusiastic.
Then it is all about Action! Action! Action!
To help you save time and energy, (which is money to you), I have organized some of the Fast Start Income Building “Gems” from my interviews with Top Producers into a condensed format under specific headings. These headings are as follows:
We will start with Attitude and Motivation.
In an interview with one Top Producer about making the telephone pay, he said the following: “don’t use a boring script. Be unique; offer something fresh and new because people like to be part of things that are fresh and new. Display confidence and enthusiasm and don’t sound like you are begging or being a bother. You must have the right attitude and display that attitude when you get on the telephone. All the skills and knowledge in the world will not make you successful in business if you don’t show confidence, enthusiasm and a positive outlook on life!” He makes a real good point. Who would get excited about seeing a Salesperson who is timid, unconfident and unenthusiastic? You may even have to “fake it till you make it”…it has been done before! Being motivated and having the Right Attitude at the beginning of the year is vital. Here are some quick ideas from my personal experience and ones picked up from Top Salespeople during my interviews.
“Everyone likes something that is “New” and “Fresh”. Look for ways to bring some “Newness” into your New Year. Try some new ideas, look for new avenues to find prospects, talk to other successful salespeople and pick up some new approaches and look for new opportunities with new products and new markets for old products and services.
Re-look at your business and investigate new additions and changes that could make things simpler, better, faster and more fun. Do this before you go on leave and even while on leave, if it is possible. For a Fast Start it is usually better to be busy implementing and talking to clients, rather than contemplating the goals, changes and new things you want to do. That is why making a list the night before of what you want to do tomorrow is much better than making the list in the morning. The subconscious works on your list during your sleep and you wake-up “on a roll” rather than waking up “wondering what you are going to do today”.
Make a list of all the things you can think about that make you happy. That will help you think happy thoughts. Look at situations and think “what is the bright side in this situation”. Think “there always is another way to look at things”. Remember, the only difference between happy and sad people is that the Happy People have more “Happy Moments” in the run of the day than the Sad People. Happy People do have Sad Moments, but they have less Sad Moments than the Sad People. Look for ways to increase the number of Happy Moments you have in a day and eventually you will be seen as a Happy Person. Collect Happy Stories and Situations from your holiday period and repeat them to other people. There is nothing wrong with “re-living” happy times and sharing them with others … and making them happy to.
Dare To Be Different
“Dare to be different! Even, for one day, stopping off at the Café on the way to work, buying a Red Bull, drinking it and popping a vitamin B Complex tablet, could shift your “state of mind”, giving you a Rocketing Start for the day,” claims another top producer. He said, that is the
way he kicks off his new year. “Buzz Light Years” should have been his name. What are some things you can do that you don’t normally do that may “jolt” you out of your normal routine. Sometimes we are too serious. Do you know why Angels can fly…“they can fly because they take
themselves lightly!” Loosen up! Have some fun!
In the first few days when you arrive back see clients that are “Bright Lights” or “Pleasurable People” to be with. You can draw on their upbeat good nature, friendliness and energy. This can get both your mind and mouth moving.
Avoid Only Seeing Problem Clients
“Getting stuck into dealing with clients who have issues to be solved can slow down even the most senior salespeople”. Try and avoid just handling problem situations at the start of the year. It can knock the wind out of your sails (sales) at a time you need wind in your sails (sales). Even if the reality is, that you have to handle some problem situations, be sure to integrate some “Bright Light” customers and friends in there as well.
Problems Or Opportunities
With clients who are unhappy with a service or product, have a plan and face it “head-on”. That alone often keeps the client happy. If you know a client is possibly going to call you with a complaint or express dissatisfaction, then call him first.
Also look for other ways you may truly be helpful with additional products and solutions. If the client is coming to see you create a “Welcome Mat” approach from the time the client phones in, is met by the receptionist, to where he/she actually sits and receives the refreshments you offer. Be creative!
Motivational Books And Tapes
Many Top Producers start their day reading the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Koran, Torah etc. That puts them on the right track and right frame of mind for the day. Keep those favourite motivational books, spiritual books, and inspirational aids close by and make a habit of reading or listening to tapes for specific amount of time per day. Listen to Inspirational and Skill Building Tapes and CD`s while you are on the way to work. It can help ensure a positive day.
Before going to bed, contemplate the things that happened that day and that are happening in your life that you are grateful for. When you wake-up in the morning, try and think of at least two reasons you are grateful. Consider keeping a Gratitude Journal and review it regularly. A truly grateful person is rarely unhappy and unmotivated.
Keep The Right Company
Some people drain your energy and some people give you
energy. Some people can destroy your reputation and others can positively help you build a good reputation. Examine the company you keep. Look closely at those friends and acquaintances. Do they motivate, feed and energise you, or do they bring you down, demotivate and drain you. Target some new or old friends and associates that you would get a good return on investment (ROI) of your time, energy, abilities, money and reputation if you had more time with them. Be with more of these people in the New Year.
Sharpen The SAW
One of your objectives must be to have a complete and proper rest during the holiday period, but at the same time don’t lose your edge. A recent study showed that a person’s IQ drops quite drastically with more than 2 weeks on vacation. Do some reading and do some planning during the quiet period as well. It could save your IQ!
There’s an Old Chinese Proverb that reads like this: “An intelligent person understands others, “A brilliant person understands himself/herself” Take a look at your own personal strengths and weaknesses and identify where you can improve those strengths and reduce your weaknesses, then kick in an action plan on the most important ones.
What is insanity? It is doing things the same way day after day and year after year and expecting different results. What changes do you have to make to see different results with your clients, work associates, family and friends. The “Fountain of Youth” is found in change. Older people that are full of energy and usually looking much younger than their calendar year age, have mastered the continual learning of new things and constantly welcoming change in their life. They do not do things the same old way, day after day. When you master a new task or successfully implement a change, there is a great feeling of achievement that in turn creates energy which gives you spirit! An office that takes on new changes continually has spirit. So does an individual.
“Put an Action Plan together for each of the points or email me at email@example.com for our FREE “Checklist and Action Plan” for this section. Then put some actions steps in place to help you ensure that your attitude and motivation are “over the top” for the last few weeks of 2009 and at the start of 2010.
This section is to help you focus more effectively and in turn ensuring more return on your investment of your personal assets. The information is drawn from parts of my Complete Sales Action System and other sales, personal marketing and sales management systems and processes.
The Right Focus
Why have some of our South African clients seen such amazing results with our sales processes? They have implemented the basic principles of focusing on the right clients and prospects, with the right frequency of contact, with the right database (frequency) selling tools and with the right solutions. Let me add a few more points to think about when you are focusing. The Focusing Principles:
1. Focus on the right clients/prospects.
2. With the right frequency.
3. With the right data base selling tools.
4. With the right solutions.
5. With the right timing.
6. With the right presentation.
7. With the right skills.
8. With the right attitude.
Review the above and give some thought how you may focus more effectively when building your own sales portfolio. Do you have to focus more on your skills this year, is it your attitude or is it in the area of providing better solutions for clients? As you can see, when you focus on these principles, there is lots of room for improvement.
Return On Investment (ROI)
This coming year make a special effort to adopt the word invest rather than spend in your personal and business live. The goal is to get your absolute best return on investment with your five valuable assets. Those assets are your:
- Ability – ideas/knowledge
- Reputation – you are the brand
When you first arrive back in January, invest your personal assets in those clients and prospects that will give you your best return on investment. They could be the people who don’t waste your time, they give you energy and listen to your advice, don’t cost a fortune to deal with and say great things about you as well as open doors for you in their network. Who will those people be?
Categorise Your Client/Prospect Base
Hundreds of salespeople from client companies in the past few years categorized their client base under the KBI licensed process, ABC, Retain, Develop, Regain and Gain. It helped them re-look at their base and focus on the right clients and prospects. Another approach used by some top salespeople is color coding. It could be:
Blue for the A`s
Green for the B`s
Yellow for the C`s
Or it could be gold, silver and bronze. There could be color tabs on the files or the actual color of the files. You could color code the electronic records the same way. A pile of red folders for AAA prospects and clients you are due to visit or need to confirm appointments for lying on your desk when you return, will certainly focus your efforts and get you moving and seeing the right sort of clients. Do it!
• Most Wanted / Most Potential and the Most Valued
Before you leave in December take the time to identify
3 Most Wanted / Most Potential Clients
2 Most Valued Clients
2 Most Wanted / Potential Lead Sources
2 Most Valued Lead Sources
Put a strategy together on these specific individuals on what you will do to gain or develop the business and relationship with them. Solicit input and assistance from the Sales Manager and Area Manager. These AAA people if handled properly could make a big difference in your first
quarter of 2010.
Put your own Action Plan together or commit yourself to action steps in the Fast Start “Checklist and Action Plan Guide”, (E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your own FREE electronic copy) to ensure that you focus your personal assets for maximum profits in the New Year. Remember, knowledge and information is not power. Knowledge and information in action is Power!
Goal setting is one of the most important habits and abilities that an individual can have. According to Dr. Lee Pulos, Clinical Psychologist and Sports Psychologist, “having a focus on a self-determined destiny or goal, is the one quality consistently found in people who are high achievers”. There are six general categories of goals, according to Dr. Pulos, that seem basic for most people. These categories are:
1. Goals for high self-esteem.
2. Goals for happy, loving relationships.
3. Goals for mental improvement.
4. Goals for good health, energy, vitality.
5. Goals for a successful career and financial security.
6. Goals for an enhanced spiritual life.
When you are setting your goals this year, consider all 6 of these areas. They are all important. Also it is important to make sure that they are achievable goals, and targets.
One of the common reasons for depression is continually having goals that are unfulfilled. According to Dr. Lee Burke, “children that grow up to be happy children are continually given goals by their parents, but they are achievable ones”. Achievable goals create happier people. So, keep setting new but attainable goals and maybe some day you will laugh as often as a child. A child laughs on an average of 400 times a day, the average adult laughs 15 times a day. Following, are some of the tips around goal setting, target setting and achieving results.
Try and come to an agreement with who you answer to or to your partner on what your targets are for the New Year, before going on holiday. That way it is in your “minds eye” while you are on leave and when you start the year, there is clarity.
Before leaving or while on leave, determine what the daily, weekly and monthly activities need to be to reach your goal or target. Again, the subconscious will “kick-in” and refine those for you. Decide also how you will keep track of these and measure the successes.
Like many of the top producers, have your goals visible and displayed in such a way that you can see the progress. If others also see them, it adds an extra incentive and pressure to reach those goals, because it puts you on-theline. Remember, people most often do what is measured.
Utilise Qualifications And Requirements
There could be criteria, qualifications and requirements that are already at your disposal as activities within your company or profession to help you reach goals and targets. Use these as benchmarks to take yourself to new heights. If they are not available, set your own reward or qualification or internally within the organisation create specific qualifications, trophies and certificates for specific accomplishments by the sales team.
Build A Pipeline
Make a special effort in late October, November and early December to raise the bar a bit. Work those extra hours, put in that extra effort, so there is a good ripe “pipe-line” of business ready to finalise when you get back. If you are starting late then work hard in December and January to fill the pipeline.
As Zig Zigler – North American sales trainer and motivational speaker once said, “If you think it, then ink it. Write it down!” Take the section Goals and Targets in the Fast Start “checklist and action plan” and write down the things you want to implement. (e-mail me at email@example.com for a FREE copy). Following are a few extra tips when setting goals:
1. Define clearly what it is you want to achieve in what time period.
2. Be clear about your motivation. Make a list of why you want to achieve the goal. The why is what really motivates.
3. Interview people who have achieved a similar goal and gather stories and articles about how different people have done it. You need “models of possibility” directly (face to face) and indirectly (stories and articles)
4. Draw a picture or create a collage of photographs of what your goal is, or “how you will feel” or “what you may receive” when you search your goal. Make up a screen saver with your goal on it.
5. Develop some self-talk statements or affirmations that
support your goal.
6. Set up some type of measurement system and have
rewards at certain points of accomplishments.
Check out our offer on the Manager’s/Facilitators
Step by Step Success Training Kit for Goal Setting
and Building Personal Affirmations.
There are a number of excellent actions, tactics and tips I have used myself or learned from other top producers that did not fit under the other categories. I have also included theses additional tips because one good idea well implemented, can have a major impact.
In December, make courtesy visits and deliver, calendars, small gifts, Holiday season Cards etc. This is an excellent way to constructively deal with the “festive” season. You can also continue to see a large number of people with this approach and set appointments for January or let them know you’ll be in contact. In early January, to get in motion, some Sales Professionals do a large number of courtesy calls..like birthday calls etc. This is a soft approach to moving to action and getting to see clients rather than sitting in the office.
Monitor Your Holiday Stories
When you return from leave, avoid excessive time spent discussing “What You Did On Holiday” with colleagues and even clients. This is not to be insensitive about our colleagues but this can stretch out and eat up a lot of valuable productive time.
Have 3 to 5 weeks of appointments already in place for when you get back from leave. Have these appointments in place before you leave and try to always have 70 – 80% booked at least one week in advance.
Start your next week on Fridays and if the Monday to Thursday for next week is not booked, invest the Friday filling up the week and then you are off to a Fast Start on Monday.
If your schedule isn’t booked several weeks in advance when you get back, take a few days, go home and get on the phone and book “out” your schedule 2-5 weeks in advance. This approach can put you back on track within days.
Get your mind moving by sifting through your Data Base or contact lists on the first day back at work or before you actually officially start work. This will trigger new thoughts and opportunities. If the mind gets moving, the body will follow.
Before you leave for holiday, put a selected pile of client files on your desk so when you walk into work on that first day, you can sit down and immediately move to action and begin to call on clients and potential clients. This way, you hit the first few days “on the run”.
Eyeball to Eyeball
Quickly get EYE BALL TO EYE BALL with clients. You are making money and achieving your goals and pick up energy when you see clients. Use every opportunity to get out of the office and in front of a client or potential client. EYE BALL TO EYE BALL will do it!
Get an early start each day. Many of the more successful
Salespeople are in the office early. This way they miss traffic, take care of administration and are ready to go and see clients and become productive from the start. Early morning is a great time to get things done without distractions. Again, this is a tactic you could use every day, but it is even more important when you have just got back from a break.
Think Action! Action! People! People! Set a goal…for example, see 5 people each day. Before you go to the office try and see 1 or 2 people. Avoid coming to the office to push paper around – get out there and see clients. This should be your focus every day, but it is even more important for a FAST START.
Identify one client per week to WOW them with exceptional, impactful client service. Select them from your Most potential/Most Wanted and Most Valued list.
Put your own Action Plan together or use our Fast Start “Action Checklist” then check off the tactics you are applying OR use it to create an action plan to apply relevant techniques easily on your return from your holiday. The actions for this section will be under the category Additional Fast Start Actions and Tactics.
This article has been written and distributed to help Sales Directors, Sales Managers, Executives, Business Owners, Sales Professionals, HR Development Personnel and marketing People get a Fast Start In 2010. I have also written the article to help you gain your share of the market during the upswing. If you have found the article of benefit to you, please spread the word with my FREE OFFER of electronically distributing the article within your organisation, externally and abroad. Please, No Spamming.
Also to help you with the implementation of the ideas and tips, just e-mail me for a FREE electronic copy of your own Fast Start “Checklist and Action Plan”. Above all, remember the Boldness Statement to ensure your success in 2010.
If Not Me, Then Who?
If Not Now, Then When?
If Not This Way, Then Which Way?
…Move To Action, Just Do It! May Health, Wealth And Happiness Be Yours In 2010!
To assist you and your management to get an even stronger start in 2010 I am also offering you and your organisation a “large discounted offer” on a specific selection of “training and sales and marketing development” training materials and Manual Self-Learning Programs. Please see the following pages.
Contact us for additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Gibson is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, sales specialist, executive coach, master marketer and superb communicator. He is the author of the book Boost Your Business. In Any Economy, The Art And Science Of Problem Solving audio program and the 25 Module Complete Sales Action System. He has also produced the 8 module Managing Complex Business Relationships System and the 43 Module Professional Sales Representative Career Program and the three part Business Success Series Audio CD and Manual Program.
Bill has spoken to over one million people worldwide, he is a Canadian who resides in South Africa and is the Chairperson of Knowledge Brokers International S.A. (Pty) Ltd and Vice Chairperson of intellAgent Training Solutions Ltd. If you would like to hire Bill to speak on the Fast Start topic or as a Keynote Speaker, trainer or consultant or for more information on his sales, marketing, service and entrepreneurial systems as well as his Call Centre Collections, Sales and Service programs you can contact him at billgibson@kbitraining. com.
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