It’s a GREAT year so far… or is it?

How’s it going? I mean this year so far? Accomplishing what you thought you would? On the path of amazing achievement? Or are you stuck in neutral, or worse, reverse?

I am AGAINST ‘having your best year ever,’ but I am in favor of ‘having a great year.’ How’s your year so far?

Having a great year is not a matter of doing one thing right – or even making one thing better – it’s a matter or making everything better, so that you can get to GREAT or BEST in whatever you do.

Here is my list of challenges for your GREAT year. Read them carefully and begin with one or two. But all must be initialized and put into action to really have a GREAT year.

1. Define yourself.
2. Develop a sales mission statement.
3. Have a deep belief in the five critical areas of selling.
4. Develop greater pride in accomplishment.
5. You are what you eat.
6. Get rid of one time-waster.
7. Read a book every two months.
8. Get your (sales) pipeline full.
9. Meet your monthly sales quota by the second week of the month.
10. Start branding yourself socially.
11. Get up earlier.
12. Begin capturing your thoughts and ideas in writing.
13. Give one speech.
14. Write one article your customers will read.
15. Make sales at breakfast.
16. Keep your present customers loyal to you and your company.
17. Double your testimonials.
18. Double your referrals.
19. Record your sales presentation.
20. Start every morning with Yes! attitude.
20.5 You’re not alone. Create a mastermind.

Here are two of the challenges that are the ‘kick off’ of this series. I will elaborate on several others over the next few weeks.

2. Develop a sales mission statement. Your company has a mission statement, and you can’t recite yours to me, or even come close. The reason? Because it’s a bunch of corporate marketing drivel that you don’t believe in, let alone memorize. Dude, IT’S THE MISSION! What you need is a sales mission – a reason to walk in the door with information the customer can use, be memorable about it, and walk out the door with a signed contract and a check. The mission that you can all embrace and live by is: ‘Get the customer to buy from me, and make the experience so memorable that they buy again, and tell other people how great my product is, and how great I am.’ That’s an easy mission for you to live by. Mission statements are not meant to be memorized. Mission statements are meant to be incorporated into your philosophy as something that you carry with you as a statement of action. It’s the MISSION.

6. Get rid of one time-waster. I’m asked one question more than any other: “Jeffrey, how can I better manage my time?” Let me give you the answer to that question: You already know what to do with your time – what the hell are you asking me for? I’m going to write a book on time management entitled, You Already Know What to Do, You’re Just Not Doing It. You don’t need a course in time management (which by the way I consider the biggest waste of time). What you need is a lesson in how not to procrastinate. It’s not a matter of managing your time, it’s a matter of doing what you know you have to do, but are just not doing it. The easiest way for me to describe this procrastination situation is to offer you a tip – a time management tip. Here it is: Get rid of one thing that is currently wasting your time. The example I most often give is watching TV news programs, or watching television dramas. If you spent as much time studying how to get your voicemail messages returned, as you did watching some stupid television show, in a year you could be a world-class expert giving seminars for high fees on how to get your voicemail returned. You don’t need to manage your time, you need to allocate your time. You need to invest your time in things that matter, in things that will build your success, and in things that will allow you to have a great year.

Well, there are two sales-shots in the butt. Two or three more next week. I am determined to give you the insight and the tools to have a great year.

I’d love to know what you are doing to have a great year. Send an email to [email protected] and some of your ideas will be posted on my Facebook page.

About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Have your BEST year ever? Or have a GREAT year?

I’m challenging you NOT to have your BEST year ever. Rather, have a GREAT year. A great family year. A great achievement year. A great money year. A great health year.

The secret of ‘great’ is NOT to start with ‘it.’ The secret of ‘great’ is to start with ‘you.’ ‘IT’ is I’m gonna buy a new house this year, and ‘YOU’ is I’m gonna study the science of asking questions. ‘IT’ is I’m gonna get something material, and ‘YOU’ is I’m gonna improve myself. To HAVE great, first you must BE great, and DO great.

Start here:
Define yourself. In order to be able to have a great year, the first person that you have to come to know, on as deep a level as humanly possible, is you. Personally, I define myself as a father, a grandfather, a friend, a writer, a speaker, an idea person, a happy person, a thinker, a traveler with endless wanderlust, and a lover of fun and fine things. Contrary to what you might think, I’m not a ‘people person.’ I’m a one-on-one person. I get loyalty by giving loyalty. And I seek new knowledge every day.

Have you ever defined yourself? Have you ever thought about who you are? Much less – have you ever written it down?

And so your first challenge is to book a DAILY hour with yourself. Find a comfortable chair, and open your laptop or tablet to Microsoft Word, and define who you think you are. Or better, who do you think you are at the moment, and make all decisions based on the person you want to become. Once you define yourself, you’ll ascertain both where you are and where you want to grow.

I’ll share one other personal insight with you. I also define myself as the ‘king of sales.’ It’s a personal feeling. And a sense of self-confidence that I carry with me wherever I go. When you define yourself, make certain that you include everything that you are great at. In order to have a great year, you have to think of yourself as great. Even if it’s the ‘greatest salesperson in the company,’ or ‘great dad.’ Whatever it is, to be great – or to have great – you have to think great.

In order to have a GREAT year, you have to do great things and take great actions.

Here’s your list:
1. Define yourself. Read and implement the paragraphs above.
2. Develop a sales mission statement. Something that drives you into the sales call, and have an order in hand when you leave.
3. Have a deep belief in the three critical areas of selling. Company, product, and self.
4. Develop greater pride in accomplishment. No bragging, just humble self-pride.
5. You are what you eat. Stop the fat BEFORE it enters.
6. Get rid of one time-waster. I recommend TV, but you make your own decisions.
7. Read a self-help or business book every two months. Six a year.
8. Get your (sales) pipeline full. Double your pipeline and you’ll double your sales.
9. Get your monthly sales quota met by the second week of the month. It’s easy to do, just turn off the TV.
10. Start branding yourself. Become known as a person of value. Build personal reputation.
11. Get up earlier. Start your day with you, not the news.
12. Begin capturing your thoughts and ideas in writing. Every day, immediately as they occur.
13. Give one speech. Join toastmasters and participate.
14. Write one article your customers will read. Something that helps them and brands you.
15. Make sales at breakfast. Have coffee with a customer or prospect at 7am every day.
16. Keep your present customers loyal to you and your company.
17. Double your testimonials. Testimonials can make sales when salespeople (you included) cannot.
18. Double your referrals. Most people ask for referrals. Big mistake. The best way to get a referral is to earn one. The best way to get a referral is to give a referral.
19. Record your sales presentation. If you want to hear the funniest thing you’ve ever heard in your life, record yourself making a sales presentation.
20. Start every morning with attitude. Wake up tomorrow morning and grab an attitude book off your bookshelf, or open your iPad, and read a few pages.
21. Get great at social. Build a great social following, social presence, social brand, and social reputation.

21.5 You’re not alone. Create a mastermind. All salespeople are in the same boat. The Good Ship Lollypop. Unlimited income potential, while sailing in rough (often uncharted) waters. The good news is, you’re not alone. Create a mastermind of non-competing salespeople and leaders to talk about problems, success, and opportunities in common. Don’t live or die by the numbers. Have a support team to give you a positive idea transfusion once a month.

Having a GREAT year is not a matter of doing one thing right – or even making one thing better – it’s a matter or making everything better, so that you can get to GREAT.

Now you have all of the 21.5 elements. Print them out and post them so that you continually remind yourself of all the elements that it takes to have a great year. Having a great year requires both full dedication and constant reminder.

I hope you have a GREAT year.

About the Author

Jeffrey GitomerJeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at [email protected].

Goal-Setting, Planning, and Testing: The Importance of Managing Your Lead-Generation Strategy

Learning how to use lead-generation marketing to your advantage requires planning and forethought. You need to think through your management strategy before beginning efforts to improve lead generation in your company. By setting goals, creating a plan to adopt new tactics, and testing the results, you can measure how the company’s investment of budget and time helps increase the number of leads and sales.

Developing a Strategy and Setting Goals

Developing a good lead-generation strategy begins with setting goals on what you hope to achieve. Your goals should define how much you wish to increase your lead-generation efforts, by when, and at what cost. It’s amazing to me how many organizations plunge into campaigns with no idea of what they’re shooting for, how many leads they’re trying to bring in, or what level of cost-effectiveness they need to observe. When their campaign is over, they have no idea how well specific tactics are working to provide them with the leads they need or if they’ve provided a positive ROMI (Return On Marketing Investment). Often, they’ve gone over budget or executed a campaign that has provided them with a minimal number of actionable leads.

Overall, the goal for lead-generation marketing should be to use as many tactics as possible to your advantage. In defining a management strategy, you should focus your goals on three areas:[wcm_restrict]

  1. Determining the goals of your lead generation tactics
  2. Using the best-quality lead-generation tactics for your organization—that is, focusing marketing efforts on the tactics that will give you the largest number of high-quality leads – to help meet lead goals
  3. Using the most cost-effective tactics for your organization

Adopting New Tactics

If you wish to adopt new lead-generation tactics, you need to have a plan in place for testing them alongside your proven tactics. You cannot simply switch to the new tactics and expect to achieve instant success. You first need to learn how to use them effectively. It may be that your current tactics work very well, but the new tactics can supplement them in generating leads. Or maybe the new tactics will eventually be more efficient at providing quality leads and/or more cost-effective than your current ones. But be aware: It will take a few tries with the new tactics to learn how to make them work to their full advantage.

Adopting new lead-generation tactics can be expensive, so it needs to be done carefully and systematically. Current lead-generation efforts need to be maintained. Obviously, you don’t want to suddenly switch to new, untested tactics or divert essential marketing resources from existing successful tactics. This could cause a sudden drop-off in your incoming leads.

The Power of Testing

Without testing and measurement, you have no idea which lead-generation tactics work best or give you the highest number of quality leads at the most effective cost-per-lead. Nor do you know how to use those tactics in combination to obtain the maximum number of leads you can get. Time and again, I’ve seen companies pour large amounts of money into lead-generation tactics without having any way to measure their success or failure. They have no way of knowing if the $10,000 they’ve spent on the campaign has made a difference. When they want to justify the next $10,000 to their executives, they have no way to do it.

Also, you need to have a plan in place for how you will qualify and use the leads you acquire. Don’t take this step for granted, especially with new tactics. Even if you have a well-established lead-qualifying system in place, make sure your organization knows how to capitalize on the additional leads, so that you get maximum benefit from them. You don’t want to spend a lot of money acquiring leads with a new tactic and then have those leads slip through the cracks because your marketing or sales teams aren’t sure what to do with them.

Through goal-setting, planning, and testing, you can find areas in your lead generation efforts where you need improvement, and justify areas where you need more budget. Good managers and executives have learned how to predict results by explaining their plans and the potential benefits.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

David T. Scott has served as CMO and Director of Marketing for Fortune 500 companies and billion-dollar organizations, including GE, AT & T Wireless, PeopleSoft, and Intermec. While working at these companies, he developed a set of strategies designed to help marketing organizations increase their lead-generation results. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business, Scott is the founder and former CEO of Marketfish, Inc.

Keeping Sales Moving Forward

Selling can be a tough profession. Keeping sales moving forward can feel like you’re slogging through mud.

Even though every living human being is selling himself or herself every day that they interact with others, you have chosen to sell in order to house and feed yourself and your loved ones. You face rejection on a daily basis, and the level of success you achieve is really all about the no’s.

You may very well hear something like this on an average day:

“Well, Jim, that new equipment you showed me sure is nice, but unfortunately I’m just going to have to say, ‘no.’”

“We appreciate all the information you’ve shared with us, Mary, but we’re not going to do this right now.”

How you respond when you hear things like that is what makes the difference between eating peanut butter sandwiches at home and being served your meal at a nice restaurant.

So, how do you respond when you hear the word “no?” Does your gut react by wrenching a bit? Do your shoulders sink in defeat? Does it show in your eyes that you’ve given up and are mentally moving on? If so, you’re probably only earning an average income, if that.

[wcm_restrict]It’s important that you realize what you’ve really done when you give up after the first no. Because you did your homework, qualified the buyer, and gave a great presentation, you’ve prepared that buyer to make a purchase – from the next salesperson who comes along. You see, they wouldn’t have wasted their time meeting with you if they didn’t have a need or at least an interest in owning the benefits of your product. Hopefully, this won’t come as a surprise to you but your main job is not presenting offers. Yes, giving presentations is usually the most fun part of selling. However, you are paid for closing sales – not for giving presentations.

That means your potential for real success is based on what you do and say after you hear “no” from your buyer. That’s when you should mentally clap your hands together and say, “Now, we’re getting somewhere!” That’s because it’s a perfectly normal reaction to a close for buyers to hesitate, to second-guess themselves, to step back or to flat out say “no.” If it’s normal for buyer to react that way to your request for their business or their money, shouldn’t it be normal for you to be ready for them? Because that’s a buyer’s normal reaction, the top sales pros practice and rehearse their own responses to the no’s. They prepare to do and say what’s necessary to keep the sale moving forward.

The first “no” can create an awkward moment. Here you’ve been so nice in learning about their needs, showing your product and explaining how it’ll help them. Then, they say “no” and they can feel bad about it. So the first thing you must do is to get them past that awkward moment. This is called re-establishing rapport. It can be as simple as saying, “I see.” Or, “I understand.” They get the message that they haven’t offended you. (After all, people are generally pretty polite.)

Average salespeople might say those words, but their next action is to pack up and leave. As a sales pro, you want your next action to be that you move back into asking questions – just like you did after you first established rapport. You won’t, of course, ask the same questions, but you’ll dig deeper into the motive behind the no.

Perhaps you forgot to mention something important. Maybe they thought of something else more important to them that they need the money for. If they’re qualified and, based on your interaction with them, you believe your product is truly good for them, you’ve missed something. Your real job of selling is to get to the root of what’s holding them back. Then, you’ll present your solutions again or in a different way, going a second time for the close.

It can take four, five, or six times of asking for their business before some people give it to you. So, you can’t give up after hearing the first “no.” That’s when the real selling begins. It’s your job to keep the sale moving forward until there’s simply nothing else to cover.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Authors

Tom Hopkins is the founder and president of the renowned sales training service Tom Hopkins International. He is a member of the National Speakers Bureau and is the author of the national bestseller How to Master the Art of Selling. Today, more than 35,000 corporations and millions of professional salespeople throughout the world utilize his professional sales training materials.

Ben Katt is a multi-million dollar producer in corporate sales, and has a long track record when it comes to ‘sealing the deal.’ He has been instrumental in turning around several top companies and their sales records.

How to Genuinely Enjoy Cold Calling

Five perspectives that will (honestly!) create enjoyment in your cold calling

Most of us dread our days of making cold calls. We take a deep breath, pump ourselves up, and prepare to talk with a perfect stranger. Is there any wonder a gray cloud sometimes hangs over our desk?

It really doesn’t have to be this way. Cold calling can be an interesting, intriguing, fulfilling adventure.

Here are five perspectives that will give you an entirely new outlook on cold calling. When you apply these new perspectives, cold calling can actually be enjoyable. It can become personally fulfilling as well as financially rewarding.

[wcm_restrict]1. Focus on Helping the Other Person

It’s against our nature as human beings to create an uncomfortable situation with another person. That’s the core reason many of us get that knot in our stomach when we start dialing a cold call.

When we’re only focused on making the sale, this is not a natural meeting place for both people. We want the sale, but the other person usually wants us to go away. Being intrusive is not the finest of character traits, and on some level we know it.

So how can we feel good about cold calling? We change our mindset from getting the sale into being helpful. We look at cold calling as an opportunity to assist.

How can we possibly feel uncomfortable doing that? Helping people is one of the best character traits we possess.

When cold calling is aligned with our very best way of being, it becomes an adventure. We truly want to help people. We feel very good about this, and it shows in our voice. People hear it. And their response will surprise you.

2. Be Honest and Truthful

You’re in a very good place when you choose to be truthful in your cold calling. If you’re not trying to fool anyone, you naturally feel better about making the call. You know that you’re trustworthy. And people respond to you in a positive way.

When you approach a potential client with integrity and common sense, you’re more personable and less tense. Being fully honest is one of your better attributes. And it gives you an opportunity to enjoy the interaction rather than being artificial or manipulative.

People do seem to have a sixth sense about integrity. When they feel you can be trusted, you can truly shine as a person as well as a potential supplier.

3. Be Yourself

Engage people in natural conversation. The more natural you are, the more comfortable you will feel. This makes the other person feel more comfortable as well.

Avoid playing a role, especially reading from a script. Most people can tell when you’re using a script. There’s nothing personal about it, and they pick up on that.

Being artificial puts you in the ‘typical salesperson’ category, which is exactly the role most of us detest. It doesn’t feel authentic. And unless you’re a born actor, it makes you feel skittish about cold calling.

Give yourself permission to follow the rhythm of natural interaction. Allow the conversation to ‘breathe.’ Let it be the kind of conversation you would have with a friend.

Practice this and it can turn your cold calls into pleasant conversations. And you may actually look forward to meeting that new person the next time you pick up the phone.

4. Get into the Other Person’s World

Shift your mindset away from what you have to offer and focus instead on what their problem is.

So many of us have been trained think about our services and products, which we don’t think about the client’s point of view. We aren’t really interested in their issues and how we can help solve them.

Be interested in their world and their challenges. You’ll find this intriguing. Most of us have a natural flair for problem solving. We enjoy ‘fixing things.’ So find out what’s going on with the person you’re talking to.

Make sure the solution you have really does “fix it.” Get rid of any hidden agendas and truly listen. Let them know you’re interested in them and their world.

Move outside your own sales agenda to focus on the needs of others. This makes you a better human being and helps you leap past the fear of cold calling.

5. Let Go of Expectations

Never assume anything beforehand. Allow the conversation to be one of exploration and discovery. Stay focused on the dialogue instead of any private agenda.

Determine whether it makes sense to continue the conversation by truly listening. Never presume your prospect should buy what you have to offer, even when it seems they’re a perfect fit.

You are not calling to create a situation that is focused on your personal gain, but on helping the other person. Simply have a conversation to explore whether you can help them in some way. This takes pressure off both of you. You’ll be more relaxed and they’ll be more honest about where they stand.

Believe me, once you start applying these perspectives it will transform your day-to-day work life. Instead of dreading cold calling, you’ll anticipate the adventure of creating a situation where everybody wins.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember]

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About the Author

Ari Galper is the World’s #1 Trust-Based Sales Expert and the Creator of Unlock The Game®, a new sales mindset and approach that has revolutionized the world of selling. His profound discovery of shifting one’s mindset to a place of complete integrity, based on new words and phrases grounded in sincerity, has earned him distinction as the world’s leading authority on how to build trust in the world of selling. Ari has been featured in a multitude of leading sales and business books for his unique and special trust-based sales approach and interviewed on networks such as CNN Money and Sky News. To read Ari’s complete biography, click here.