Live in the present and prepare for the future

Good advice for our Sales Pros – If you spend too much time looking back you may trip and stumble past that opportunity and never even notice that it was there.

This Edumaction piece also welcomes Annie Bass and Sally Rogers to Sales Professionals.  We know that there are a lot of clubs to join and we are happy that you chose Sales Pros.

Mel Carney

Make 2012 Your Best Business Year 

Mel – 2012 is the only year that we have so you need to make the most of your opportunities 

Katie Morell Jan 11, 2012 - It’s time to celebrate 2012. Here, six business leaders weigh in on how SBOs can make this year the best (and most profitable) yet. 

Start fresh 

“A small business owner’s attitude entering a new year is really critical,” said Dr. Deborah Brown, MBA, a business coach based in Deerfield Beach, Fla. “If you are still beating yourself up for things that happened in 2011, you won’t be able to network as effectively. Let go of any negativity from last year and start this one re-energized.” 

( Harness Your Top Talent) Mel 

“The economy is rebounding and it’s time for you to play your Trump Card – In a card game, that card is in the suit that has the most powerful cards. There is a card game where the goal is end up with all of the cards in one suit and that is called “Shoot The Moon” . I believe that each of us should go to our strength and only sell those opportunities that play to that strength. One of the points in this paper recommends that you eliminate 10% of the products that you are trying to sell and concentrate on the rest of the products. Perhaps we should add eliminate 10% of your prospects and only go after those who you have worn out with your unproductive calls. 

Focus on money making 

“Each day, pick three of the most important actions that will move your business forward and generate income,” advised Mike Taubleb, principal at Promenade Speakers Bureau, LLC, based in Brooklyn, N.Y. “If you are a small business owner and are not closing sales, you are not making money. “Figure out what you are doing on an hourly basis and see if it will lead to sales in the short or long term. Make sure to do tasks that will not generate income when your customers will not be as accessible by phone, like in the evenings or on weekends.” 

Build a new position, (for yourself) 

“Appoint yourself as the Chief Customer Officer of your company. “Companies have a chief financial officer, a chief executive officer and so on, but no one has a Chief Customer Officer. It will be/is your job to advocate for the customer. Act like a customer and check out your company to ensure that you and your company make great business partners.

Take out 10 percent 

“Stop selling 10 percent of the products or services you now offer,” Stevens suggested. “Chances are, they don’t sell and you’ve kept them as part of your business 'just because.' Focus your energies on what is selling well and bring innovative products or services into your offering.” 

Learn to manage your career 

“Without effective management, a sales professional will just spin their wheels,” said Jerry Siegel, president of JASB Management Inc., a business management consultancy based in Syosset, N.Y. “The best thing a sales professional can do is to learn to manage his or her career. I recommend talking to a business coach who can help them determine their challenges and build plans of actions to reach their goals.” 

Stop bad marketing 

“Put an immediate halt to marketing initiatives that you cannot measure or don’t know if they work,” Stevens said. “If you don’t know, they likely do not produce. Focus your marketing efforts that do.” 

Consult others 

“At the beginning of the year, speak with four professionals who can help you move your business forward,” said Christine Clifford, CSP, CEO and president of Christine Clifford Enterprises, a speaker and entrepreneur. “Start delegating. If you try to do it all, you will drown.” 

Write a lessons learned list

 “No matter how successful your business has been, if you don’t take notice of what worked and what didn’t, you are bound to make the same mistakes again,” said Maria Marsala, CEO of Elevating Your Business, a coaching, consulting and education company based in Poulbso, WA. “A lesson’s learned list or report will detail the project, what worked well and what you could change next time. Use those lessons to make your business better.” 

Target 25 percent growth 

“Refuse to accept any less,” Stevens said. “Once you set this as a target, lay out a of plan for how your company will achieve this growth. Being successful in business means you have to be comfortably uncomfortable. If you are always comfortable, you can’t be successful.” 

Katie Morell is Chicago-based writer and frequent OPEN Forum contributor. She also regularly contributes business, feature and travel articles to national and regional publications. 

This piece is being sent as a redundant piece and you may see the same piece in a few months- I believe it comes under, “ Live in the present and prepare for the future”, Mel