As a salesperson, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your clients’ work and forget to save time for your own planning. How do you ensure that you end the current year on a perfect note? It’s important to finish strong and finalize your business plan before the calendar turns. Below are three ways to seal a successful year and begin 2018 with a bang.
1. Review and Refresh
While the best salespeople are constantly optimizing their time and effectiveness, sometimes it’s best to view things through a wider lens. Even if you’re tracking your performance and measuring your proximity to goals on a weekly or monthly basis, taking a step back and examining the year in its entirety can be a fruitful exercise.
Look back at the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year and consider the ones you’re not on track to achieve. How close did you come to accomplishing them? What steps could you have taken to meet your expectations? Are these goals that you wish to stick with heading into the new year? These questions can lead you to find beneficial insights that will shape how you approach the new year.
That being said, unmet goals are not the only ones to consider. Which goals did you set for yourself that you accomplished easily? Did you set your sights too low, or just find the perfect solution? Are these endeavors that you plan to pursue going forward? Take the time to determine which goals you can build upon, and where you should up the ante.
2. Don’t Overlook the Details
Even though it’s important to focus on the big picture, it’s also important to hone in on the trivial details that fit into the larger picture. If you’re only examining your performance broadly, you’re likely to miss some important elements.
Take your business plan for example. If you’ve set a goal of growing your business by 20 percent, how you will achieve that level of growth? That may mean you need to acquire three new clients. Outline the steps you will take with each new potential buyer, from bonding and rapport to closing the sale. It also helps to identify the amount of business you plan to acquire with each new client, from a financial standpoint. Obtaining a certain number of clients doesn’t necessarily mean you will achieve 20 percent growth. The more detailed you can be with your plan after you’ve taken a step back and identified the gaps, the more likely you will be to achieve your goals.
Remember, what you are doing now is perfectly designed to get you the results you saw this year. To do better, you will have to change something.
3. Build On Your Momentum
We’ve been talking about making a clean break by clearly distinguishing the past from the future. But if you’re riding a wave, you don’t need to slow down.
A lot of talented salespeople feel that they emulate a “fourth-quarter team,” doing their best work when the pressure is on. This effort is impressive, but consider how much better they could be if they operated with the same urgency all year long, starting on the first of January. Challenge yourself to keep your foot on the gas and accelerate into 2018 with a good plan and an even better work ethic.
The reasons behind closing your year out before the new one begins may seem obvious, but the benefits go deeper than just staying on pace. By reviewing your year-to-date performance, focusing on the details, and continuing the momentum, you’ll be well-positioned to successfully start next year off on the right foot.