The high failure rate of New Year’s resolutions have made them almost cliché, and that’s a shame because there is great merit to the concept of kicking off the new year with an articulated commitment to self-improvement. But thinking it, saying it, or even writing it down won’t make it so. Each year nearly half of us make personal New Year’s resolutions, and a whopping 92% of those resolutions will not be realized.
From the sales perspective, most of us already have a New Year’s resolution of sorts, in the form of our 2014 sales plan. The plan is very specific in what improvement is expected, but the action plan for achieving that goal may be vague or absent altogether; and that scenario can set the stage for failure.
Assuming your 2013 sales results reflected hard work and your very best effort, and you are expecting (and have committed to) a better sales outcome for 2014, something in your sales dynamic or sales process needs to change. What is it in your sales life that needs to improve? What will drive that change? Identify specific action steps to drive your stated improvements and remove any barriers to completing these action steps.
Finally, how will you recognize success in the short term? Define upfront those events and behaviors that will signal progress toward your stated improvements.
Consider a personal New Year’s resolution to lose weight. A vague plan to “eat better” or “exercise more” will likely end in failure. A more specific action plan would include researching and selecting a specific diet, grocery shopping to get the right foods in the house, and identifying which restaurants will no longer be among your dining options. Weekly weigh-ins would provide important short term benchmarks for success.
Your 2014 sales objective is much more than a whimsical resolution; make sure it is supported with a specific action plan to drive success in the coming year.