Five New Year’s Resolutions NOT to Make


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The New Year’s date rolls easily off the tongue. Always Oh-one, Oh-one, it’s one of a small group of dates with binary symmetry. And unlike the Jewish New Year, you don’t need to look at a calendar to confirm when it arrives. New Year’s give us an opportunity to begin anew with a clean sheet of white paper, or a new note on the iPhone simply titled Resolutions, juxtaposed to the year.

By listing our resolutions, we take a vital first step to expunge all those bad habits that dragged us down in 2013. Wasting precious time on Twitter. Skipping out on the gym. Tiptoeing around social selling when everyone else was jumping in with both hands and feet. What else—anything?

If you feel disconcerted about having a too-short list, check your news feeds, because resolution suggestions are pouring in. Pick the most valuable ones, and stop when your list gets to around one hundred items. With so many possibilities, separating the wheat from the chaff can be difficult, but here are some resolutions worth skipping:

1. Stop talking, start listening. But if your client interactions are limited to smiling and note taking, you’re not holding a conversation.

2. Dial down the passion. I’m not sure how this ever became a recommendation for anyone, but I’ve read it more than once. I’ll go with Emerson, who said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

3. Conform to a sales process. Would you expect to hear any sales manager say, “Even though you lost the deal, you adhered tenaciously to each of our eleven selling steps. Attaboy!” As Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, and Nicholas Toman wrote in Dismantling the Sales Machine, “The key is to give [salespeople] considerable discretion regarding their activities while guiding them through—and holding them accountable for—specific milestones on the way to a sale.”

4. Stop selling! Instead, try a more useful variant, “Stop selling the wrong way.”

5. Know everything you can about your prospects. Don’t attempt—unless you crave the tedious challenge of endless, indiscriminate fact-finding. Instead, resolve to figure out what you must learn about prospects.

Five resolutions to cross off your list. If you still feel you don’t have enough resolutions, wait a day. We’ll never run out of ways to improve.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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