Setting the Pace for the New Year

Flipping the calendar brings with it not only a sense of optimism but a certain sense of urgency. In sales, "the counter being reset to zero" also resets the anxiety of another number to hit. Those numbers start to pile up, and you quickly lose focus on the forest for all of the trees.

But you can't lose sight of what you're here to do, what your job is. Your role as a salesperson is to usher in solutions that people were previously unaware of. Your prospects and customers don't always know what they need to know to take that next step. Your job is to educate, to guide, to demonstrate possibilities, to help.

So when you force a deal through or resort to high-pressure tactics, who are you helping? 

Those techniques and tactics are unbefitting the modern sales professional. They're below you. Your sense of urgency is never reflected in theirs, and the sale should always be about them, not you.

So let's take a look at that urgency. Why is it there? Is it because somebody pulled a number out of thin air and told you to get to work, or because of a made-up growth percentage? 

Take a look at most overnight successes. Chances are there's at least 10 years of hard work, failure, and even more hard work that went into it.

But Jeff, I don't have ten years, I need to make sales now...

Of course you do, but think about what you're saying. You don't have time to do it the right way because you've got a deadline. 

Well if you don't have time to do it right, then you definitely don't have time to do it twice.

The counter was reset to zero this week. The hourglass has also just been flipped over- there's a lot of sand at the top. There’s never been a better time to start looking at the long-term than right now. Pace yourself. Think strategically. Look for bigger wins over longer periods. Look past the end of the month or the end of the quarter and look more intently at the end of time. 

This is your year to double down on doing the right things for the right reasons. Your customers will notice, your prospects will too, and your quota will become an afterthought.