Happy New Year!!
2016 is officially in the books, which means that your sales and performance numbers from 2016 are officially in the past. At this point, it does not matter if you greatly exceeded your goals last year, or utterly failed. Right now, we all start out with a clean slate. We all have the ability to start fresh. If you were disappointed in yourself last year, this is a fantastic opportunity to look for ways to improve your process and improve your performance for this year.
Even if you were able to destroy your goals and far exceed your performance expectations, this is a great opportunity to look for ways to improve yourself and set yourself up for even greater success in 2017.
Regardless of where you fall, we have compiled a list of ways you can improve your performance. The good thing about these activities is that you can start them today and keep the momentum going throughout the year. We recommend that you get started on these right away.
Download and Listen to Sales Podcasts
I feel like Podcasts are a severely underutilized tool. By far, this is one of the best ways to gain knowledge and get pumped up about your job, which will definitely lead to an increased level of performance.
A Podcast is basically a free audio lesson provided by content experts on any given subject. You can find fun and informative Podcasts on anything from history to football. Of course, for our purpose, we will be looking at Podcasts about sales, marketing, and business. These Podcasts can vary from a lecture given by an industry expert to an interview with top salespeople & CEO’s.
There are literally thousands of Podcasts available. You can search on the iTunes store as to which ones are better suited for you. However, due to the overwhelming number of options, we already typed up a list of our favorite Podcast channels with download links included. Click here to view the list.
Read Self-Help Books & Blogs
Just like Podcasts, self-help books are underutilized. When people hear the term “self-help”, they quickly imagine some depressed person reading about how to be happy. While there is nothing wrong with that, self-help books reach far beyond the topic of depression. There are hundreds of thousands of books authored by top salespeople and persuasion experts on how to improve your game. If you are not reading these at least once a month, you are severely limiting yourself. Within these books, you will find different styles, methods, processes, tips, and tricks on increasing your sales performance and reaching your maximum capabilities.
On the same note, blogs are another fantastic tool to use. In most cases, they are a free source of knowledge from people who want to help you succeed (like this one!). You should not just follow one blog though – you should be subscribed to as many as you can find for your daily dose of sales help and motivation.
Hold a Weekly Meeting with your Manager
Whether you want to admit it or not, your sales manager is a manager because they saw tremendous success in sales and wanted to advance in the company. They are a wealth of knowledge for you. Unfortunately, many people dislike their sales managers and refuse to listen to their advice, which is a shame.
Think about it: your sales manager knows what it takes to succeed not only in your industry, but at your exact specific company with your exact specific products. If you are not holding weekly meetings with these people, now is the time to start. Look for constructive criticism and ways to improve. Don’t get defensive when they want to correct you – you will probably find that it will be in your benefit.
Volunteer for Community Events
Looking outside the office, there are always opportunities to sharpen your sword and learn how to be better with people. Sales is a people business – you have to know how to relate with people and how to be likable. Volunteering in the community for church events, fundraising events, and civic events is a great way to stay sociable and perfect your people skills.
One real-world example that comes to mind is that of my friend. He was fantastic in a one-on-one sales setting, but struggled with group presentations. He signed up to read the church readings on Sunday mornings in front of the whole congregation. This gave him the confidence and the ability to speak to large crowds at work and really helped him turn his performance around.
Exercise and get Plenty of Sleep
All too often, I see coworkers stumble in to work who then proceed to brag about how they stayed up and partied all night. The resulting day usually ends up a disaster for them in terms of sales numbers. This one is really simple – if you exercise and get plenty of sleep, you will feel better at work and perform at a much higher level. It amazes me that people brag about getting no sleep or eating 6 Big Mac’s at lunch. Do things that will benefit your body, and you will see an improvement in your sales numbers.
Buy Yourself a New Wardrobe
OK, maybe not a full wardrobe, but you should go out and buy yourself a couple new shirts & ties. If you are wanting to spoil yourself, a new jacket or suit too. I can’t quite pinpoint on why this happens, but every time I put on a new set of clothes, I feel better about myself. I walk around with a little more swagger and inevitably do better at my job. This is a great time too, considering many clothing stores have a lot of deals & specials going on to clear the shelves after the holidays.
Commit to a Behavioral Goal
It’s pretty simple to set a sales goal for yourself. At the end of the day, it’s basically a sales number that you hope to reach. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s much more complicated to commit to a behavioral goal though, but it can end up being more rewarding and will contribute to you reaching your sales goal.
For example, maybe you are someone who makes a sale, then takes a little bit of time to relax and chill before your next sales call. If this is the case, perhaps consider committing to a behavioral goal of using that momentum and going on another sales call right away. Me personally, my usual activity when I get in to the office is to get some coffee and stare at my email for 30 minutes or more before even starting my daily process. My behavioral goal is to avoid doing that – get in the office and start working on my sales process first.
However well you did last year is irrelevant. We should all be looking to improve and do better this year. Take advantage of the above activities to ensure that you have an outstandingly successful year! Again, Happy New Years, and I hope you all had a memorable and exciting holiday season.
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