Today is likely your first day back at work after the holidays. Instead of living in your inbox, let today set your tempo for the year: start things off with a bang.
The last thing you should do is ease into 2021, believing that your clients and prospects will be too busy catching up on their email to take a call from a salesperson. That indicates that you are not confident in the value you create for your clients—or the value you are capable of delivering. You should be so confident about your ability to help your contacts solve seemingly intractable problems that no one can afford to refuse a meeting with you. You are far better off being over-confident and ever-so-slightly delusional than being under-confident and afraid.
In January, some of our brothers and sisters in sales will decide that no one wants to hear from them on the first workday of the year, which will quickly turn into the first week of the year. When they finally start to do any serious sales-related work, it will be February: 8.3% of their year will be gone. The missed opportunities that they should have created in January will force them to double their work in February, but since they skipped prospecting, they’ll fall even further behind in March, April, and so on.
Instead of following their dubious lead, spend today doing these tasks.
Review Your Territory and Account Plan: Review your territory and account plan, then start to prioritize how and where you are going to spend your time in the new year. Which existing clients are you projecting to grow, and how can you help them with better results? What do you need to create new opportunities and secure greater wallet share? Which companies in your territory are you going to capture this year as new clients, and how are you going to compel them to change?
Call Every Existing Client: If you call yourself a “strategic partner,” you are obligated to be proactive. Your clients are back at work today, even if they’re still working from home. Call every relevant contact at every existing client to welcome them to 2021, then ask them for a meeting so they can update you on anything they might need from you in the next year. Make sure your existing clients recognize that they are your priority.
Call Every Active Opportunity: Some of the deals you started working on last year are going to close this year. The last couple of weeks may have caused a pause in the sales conversation, but that little break is now over, and it’s time to get back to work. Wherever you are in the sales conversation, call your main contacts, tell them you are looking forward to picking up where you left off, and confirm your next meeting. (And if you didn’t confirm a next step, pick up The Lost Art of Closing and read it this week).
Restart Your Nurture Sequence: For many of us, winning new business means taking it from a competitor. The process of displacement takes time, and the clock only starts when you do. This idea is called Year Zero, the year where you develop relationships by providing your dream clients with insights and ideas. Make sure you are the first person the decision-makers and decision-shapers hear from in the new year, and then consistently feed them the kind of insights that prove you are worth a meeting.
Inconsistent effort is the surest path to poor results. When you give up days, you give up weeks. When you give up weeks, you give up months. Those months soon turn into lost quarters, and the lost quarters make for a lost year. Instead of running a losing race by trying to play catch-up, stay on pace. Let today set your standard for this year, and do good work.
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Filed under: Sales