Your best year ever is a mission, not a goal

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Published: March 20,2006

I’m challenging you to have your BEST year ever. Beating your goals, and achieving your own expectation of excellence.

So far, I’ve given you the first 12 elements of how to have your BEST year ever:

1. Define yourself.

2. Develop a sales mission statement.

3. Have a deep belief in the three critical areas of selling.

4. Develop greater pride in accomplishment.

5. You are what you eat.

6. Get rid of one time-waster.

7. Read a book every two months.

8. Get your (sales) pipeline full.

9. Get your monthly sales quota met by the second week of the month.

10. Start branding yourself.

11. Get up earlier.

12. Begin capturing your thoughts and ideas in writing.

How are you doing so far? Here are a few more of the 20.5 elements:

13. Give one speech. Most people are afraid of speaking in public. The reason is simple: fear of looking foolish. The basis for this fear is lack of skill and lack of preparedness. Many people are afraid to give a speech because they fear someone will ask a question that they cannot answer, and will be made to look foolish. If you wanna have your best year ever, join Toastmasters, become a certified Toastmaster (which means give 10 speeches to your own club members), and then get yourself booked at a Rotary Club or Kiwanis Club, and give a 15- minute speech.

The self-confidence you will gain cannot be measured, but it can be felt. Felt in pride of accomplishment, felt in self-assurance, and felt in the sense of overcoming a personal fear. And if you give the speech to the right group — it will be felt in the thickening of your own wallet from the leads and sales.

14. Write one article. After you have spent a few months writing things down, I challenge you to write one article that will appear in a magazine or newsletter that your prospective customers, or your existing customers, might read. When you appear in print, it changes your customer’s entire perception of you. You go from salesperson, to industry expert — you go from community member to community leader. Not only in the eyes of your customers, but also in the eyes of your co-workers and your family. I don’t write books. I write articles. Articles lead to books. My next book is “The Little Red Book of Sales Answers.” Launching on April 4, it will also be available on your iPod. Once you start to write, the opportunities are limitless.

15. Make sales at breakfast. Instead of trying to get to work “on time,” make a $5 appointment and buy a customer or prospective customer breakfast. 7 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8 a.m. — early baby. Make money while other people are driving in the traffic. I start my day so early that my mantra for the last 15 years has been “I make money while other people are sleeping.”

And, if you wanna have your best year ever, you better decide that your work day starts earlier than it currently does. I don’t mean what time you get up in the morning, I mean what time you get into productivity mode. Breakfast is the easiest and most productive time to make a sales call, and build a relationship.

I try to have at least 100 breakfast appointments a year at a total cost of under $500 dollars — and a total ROI of, well, let’s just say, priceless.

16. Keep your present customers loyal to you and your company. In order to grow your business organically (the best, strongest and most economical way), you must FIRST preserve the customers you have. You do this with on-time delivery, excellent service, giving value and superior communication (not with lowest price). This will breed referrals and testimonials. Two key ingredients for having your best year ever.

Now you have 16 of the 20.5 elements. Almost home. I know it’s progressing slower than you want, but hey, it’s about having your BEST year ever, and I want to be certain you have all the information possible to make that happen. There will be one more part to this piece. Yes, the ENTIRE article will be available on my Web site AFTER the last part has run.

THE MISSION CONTINUES: Return next week for the final part of how to have your BEST year ever.

In the meantime, I’d love to know what you are doing to have your best year ever. Send an email to bestyear@gitomer.com and all ideas will be posted on my site.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of “The Sales Bible,” and “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless,” is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail
salesman@gitomer.com.

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