There are expert predictions that 2010 will be much better than 2009.
Well, golleeeee! There’s a brilliant statement. Probably made by the same idiot who said the recession is over. The reality is no one knows. The fact is some businesses will have their best year ever, and others will go out of business. And everyone will wonder what happened to the value of their real estate.
Someone somewhere will measure some obscure number and proclaim it to be an “indicator.” That’s probably the same jack that predicted Katrina will miss New Orleans, the swine flu will kill everybody and told us that the value of real estate is only down 9 percent.
REALITY: 2010 will ONLY be better than 2009 if YOU make it better. You are the recovery, you are the bailout and you are the stimulus.
REALITY: 2010 is not about THE economy; it’s about YOUR economy.
REALITY: Stop worrying about random global and national situations and start taking positive local action. It’s not THE market; it’s YOUR marketplace. It’s not THE banking industry; it’s YOUR banking relationship. It’s not THE availability of credit; it’s YOUR credit needs and money availability.
Stop watching THE news, and concentrate on BUSINESS news. What’s happening in business is far more important than who got shot, what got bombed or what burned down. (Yes, I’m concerned for the troops in harm’s way, but I am equally concerned for their ability to pay their mortgage once they return.)
REALITY: The pressure for more sales will be on. If you’re in sales, that means you.
REALITY: The pressure to reduce your prices will be severe both from your customers and your competition.
Here’s a 2010 game plan that has nothing to do with your sales plan or quota – except that without these actions, you’ll never achieve it:
• Visit your top 25 customers. The state of their business is the predictor of yours. Get closer to them. Help them. Serve them memorably.
• Get your online presence out of the ’90s. Invest in the Internet. It’s not going away and everyone is using it to buy things and get information.
• Start offering help messages and value messages on your Web site, blog, e-zine and social media sites that are aimed at your customers and prospects. Social media is here to stay. Get on it, get with it or lose to the competition that is.
• Develop and maintain a great business reputation and personal reputation. The Internet can help you build one.
• Create and send one weekly value message to all customers. Just because they’re not buying now does not mean they won’t be buying soon. Be at the top of their minds with value messages, not sales calls.
• Master social media for your business. Create a Facebook fan page and update it with candid industry comments and videos of as many people and things as possible. Tweet value tips every day – use your industry key words and hash-tags.
• Improve your Google ranking. Your own Web site, blog and social media presence will help.
• Keep morale up even if business is still down. Train positive attitude all year long to everyone in your company.
• Focus on customer loyalty. Service and value that leads to customer loyalty not customer satisfaction.
• Make certain you have a value proposition in favor of the customer, not a sales pitch.
• Learn customer buying motives, not old-world sales techniques.
• Change from cold calls to referrals.
• Take a course in creativity.
• Have at least one sales celebration meeting.
• Get executives closer to customers.
• Get marketing closer to sales.
These are real world actions to take that in my opinion are not options. They’re the bare minimum essentials to thrive this year. And these are all things you can do on your own.
HERE’S THE CHALLENGE: Are you willing to allocate the time from your present scramble to make these elements happen in your business and your sales career? You have 11.5 months left to make an impact in your market this year.
Count on me to keep you loaded with information to help you get from “rebound,” all the way to “profit.”
Want one more 2010 reality? Go to www.gitomer.com and enter 2010 REALITY in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.