Three Resolutions for Salespeople in 2011

It’s your first Monday back after the holiday, and it’s the start of a brand new year. Is this year going to be a repeat of your last sales year, or are you going to resolve to do things different, to make it better?

If you are going to make one of your resolutions to lose some weight, there isn’t anything heavier and tougher to lug around than the three following items. Resolve to set them down.

Old, Tired Beliefs

There isn’t anything that has a greater impact on your results than your beliefs. What you believe will determine the actions that you take, and the actions that you will regret not having taken.

Maybe you believe that there will time for prospecting later. There won’t be.

Maybe you believe you can win the dream clients you need to leapfrog into the top 20% without nurturing the relationships that you need. You can’t.

Maybe you believe someone else is holding you back, that it’s your company, your products or services,that it’s those guys in sales prevention. It isn’t.

I don’t have any idea what your pet impossibility is, or which of the iron laws of sales you believe you can violate without suffering the certain and harsh repercussions that follow, but you do. Come Monday morning, set those down at the door when you come in.

Resolve to drop the old, tired beliefs that are no longer serving you.

Avoiding Responsibility

It wasn’t your fault. No one could have done better. Nothing to learn here, so you’ll just take your lumps.

You lost the deal because your competitor beat you on price. You lost the deal because your competitor is way bigger and they have things to offer that you don’t. You lost for some reason that was inevitable, and there wasn’t anything you could have done about it.

Avoiding responsibility strips you of your personal power; it’s disempowering. It strips you of your belief and your ability to take actions that might have allowed you to win—some other salesperson won, after all. It hurts, and it’s very difficult, but it’s far better to say: “I lost this deal to someone with a lower price because I failed to convey the greater value we would have created at a higher price. I will find a way to do better in the future.”

Easy? No way!

Is it worth working on? Absolutely.

Resolve to drop the excuses and to stop absolving yourself of responsibility.

That Negativity Thing You Sometimes Do

The water-cooler gang has always got something about which they are complaining. Misery loves company, and you can’t help but to sometimes get sucked in. Next thing you know, you have a few complaints of your own, and you’re off to the races.

Negativity spreads. Once infected, it’s really, really hard to treat. Sometimes there isn’t any cure, and you find yourself in a death spiral of negativity that destroys your results and that you spread to others.

This isn’t what you want for you. It’s not what success is built on. The reason that optimism follows self-discipline on my hierarchy of success attributes is because it is a choice that you make. It’s sometimes a damn hard to choice to make, but it’s a choice nonetheless.

Resolve to drop the negativity, the old tired beliefs that no longer serve you, and the avoiding responsibility for missed outcomes. You will be far lighter—and far more successful—in 2011 by not carrying that baggage along with you.

Questions

What are the old, tired beliefs that you carry with you, but that no longer serve you? What are healthier beliefs that you could try on in 2011?

What are your favorite ways to absolve yourself of responsibility when things don’t go the way you wanted them to go—or needed them to go? What are your pet impossibilities, the things that you believe prevent you from succeeding that cause you to fail to try? How could you believe and behave differently in 2011?

Who gets to you with their negativity? Who has the ability to bring you down to the level that you become a critic, a cynic, a slacker, or a burnout? Who makes it so that you no longer want to believe? How can you shield yourself from the damage that they do? What kind of conversation do you need to have to be the person you want to be and to keep your immunity to their negativity?

How will you let dropping these improve your sales results in 2011?

Oh yeah, the picture. That little guy is running, and running, and running and isn’t getting anywhere. He doesn’t know any better.

ANNOUNCEMENT: On January 14, 2011, Future Selling Institute is being launched. It’s focused on sales leaders and aspiring leaders—sales managers, executives, general managers responsible for the sales function. It’s packed full of resources to help sales leaders excel! Any sales leader interested in their personal, professional and career development will want to join this community. Join us on January 14, 2011 for the kickoff conference.

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Read my interview with Tom Peters (Part One and Part Two).

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Filed under: Sales 3.0

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