Tips For Tackling The New Year

The first decade of the new millennium is finally coming to a close, and for many in the business world, it’s good riddance. The decade featured a period of prosperity that was bookended on both sides by deep recessions. The decade ended on a particularly harsh note with a crippling recession that forced deep cuts across almost every industry.

Now, with the new decade comes new opportunity. While the economy may not return to its pre-recession peak, it’s going to get better. This means there will be opportunities out there for those companies and salespeople who are ready for them. To help you prepare yourself to attack 2010, GAWDA Edge is offering these tips for tackling the new year:

Take Time To Reflect
As the old saying goes, what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. The past year was tough, but a lot of good can come out of it. Take a little bit of time to reflect on 2009 and how you were able to get through it. Note what worked for you and why it was successful. That way, when the economy does recover, you’ll remember and you won’t fall out of the good habits you developed. Learn from the past, don’t doom yourself to repeat it.

Set Lofty Goals
The struggles of 2009 have many pragmatic prognosticators predicting modest numbers for 2010. That doesn’t mean you should have modest goals. Demand greatness from yourself. Set ambitious goals. Ultimately, you might not reach them, but that’s not necessarily the point. Striving for these goals will allow you to reach further than you might have thought possible.

Develop A Battle Plan
How many times have you heard someone make a New Year’s resolution? They’re going to lose 20 pounds this year, or they’re going to finally quit smoking. They’ll work at it for a few months and then, inevitably, revert back to their previous ways. Is it because they lack the ambition or the character to stick to their resolution? That’s not necessarily the case. A goal on its own is just an idea, something you would like to do. When you take that goal and develop a concrete plan to accomplish it, then it becomes something more. Once you set your ambitious goals for 2010, develop a detailed plan to accomplish them. Then, stick to it.

Read
One reason that many businesspeople become successful is because they are constantly looking for that competitive edge. One way to find the edge is to read. There are hundreds of fantastic ideas out there if you take the time to look for them. Not sure what books to read? Each month GAWDA Edge has a “Book Alert” that highlights a valuable reading selection for GAWDA members.

Take Time to Study
The single most important thing that a businessperson can do is to truly know what they’re talking about. You have to be able to do more than just recite the spec sheets of your biggest sellers. Especially in sales, product knowledge is paramount. Take product literature home with you, learn it front and back, and then read it over again. Don’t just focus on your big products, either. In this market, the small-dollar items mean more than ever. Maybe you won’t sell a big-ticket item to a customer, but if you’re familiar with your entire product line, you may be able to find a hidden opportunity in their operation.

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