So here we are smack at the beginning of a new year. Yes, I know that we have simply turned a page on the calendar, but it feels good—a fresh start and all that stuff. Do you have high hopes for the coming year? Gonna do some things differently? Well, for starters, how about fine-tuning your sales strengths and avoid these three deadly sins of selling:
- Thinking that marketing is sales and vice versa. Repeat after me: Marketing is not sales. So why are so many people starting the new year with new marketing campaigns, making resolutions to “jump” into social media and looking to Twitter to help them make their way, all while they don’t think for a minute about their sales process, sales competencies or abilities to follow up, follow through and close those prospects and leads? If you want to waste your money, go ahead. If not, please spend as much time and consideration on the sales aspect of your business as on the marketing end. You’ll be glad you did.
- Thinking that networking is an endgame in and of itself. Hah. Wish it were so, but it just isn’t. Networking is an ongoing, never-ending initiative that requires eternal vigilance to make it pay off. And yes, you can have a one-hit wonder derived from a networking meeting in which nothing more than showing up was involved. But those bits of success are few and far between. What you need are a strategic vision and a plan for how you will go out there onto the networking playing field and win the game. (Hint: The networking game is circular, not linear, and if you play it well then you just might be rewarded by what comes back to you.)
- Allowing those leads, contacts, dormant accounts and friends languish. Why do you need thousands of people in your CRM or even on your Constant Contact email newsletter list if you are not going to work these contacts effectively and efficiently? If you stay on the grid, then if and when a project or a lead crops up, you’ll be top-of-mind and get the pleasure of a connection. If you can’t find a reason to stay in touch with contacts, then you shouldn’t be out there trying to win new business. You will not get any return on your time at all.
Make a resolution to abolish these sins and move forward into your most successful year ever.