Listen Up, CEO’s! It’s That Time of Year . . .

It’s That Time of Year…

It’s coming to that time of year when things begin to slow down. Current prospects become unavailable.  More time is spent finding Christmas presents and decorations. Generally, many people begin slipping out of high gear. By the time we reach the week between Christmas and New Year’s we are almost in “PARK”.

So, wrap up whatever year-end business you can, make some plans and set your goals for next year. AND do what so many of us fail to do the remainder of the year. This is a great time to PROSPECT and CULTIVATE. You’ve been running at full speed most of the year (except, maybe, for that one week vacation you squeeeezed in).

Go back and review those prospects that fell off the radar in the first three quarters of the year. Look at those names. They seemed promising at one time. What happened? Why didn’t you sell them? Should some of them be renewed? Maybe it’s time to go back to your referral source and see what they know. If you lost an order, check back and see if the prospect is happy with their purchase of a competitor’s product or service. Last year you promised yourself you would be more active in your prospecting. Reach out to referral sources, set up a few coffee meetings, reconnect with past customers, maybe attend a networking event, or two.  Drop off some Christmas cookies.

Look at your current customer list; those people that you’ve done business with since the first of the year. Is it time to for a follow up phone call, or personal call. CULTIVATE that relationship. Ask for a referral or reference. Are they happy customers? Is there something a simple phone call will do to further enhance your relationship? Is there another problem you can solve?  Don’t just be another Christmas card hanging in their lobby.

Prospecting and Cultivating are very important aspects of selling. If you don’t PROSPECT you will have trouble finding customers. If you don’t CULTIVATE your competition may sneak into the account while you are not paying attention.  It’s that time of year to spread a little cheer. Be merry and cheerful.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Successful New Year!

The CEO Speaks Through A Megaphone – BizTimes Article by John Howman

We were about to lay off 20 percent of the team. We were losing money. I was close to being clinically depressed. While she never admitted it, I am quite sure my wife, Laura, was about ready to get rid of me as well.

Suffice to say, 1996 was not my best year. I really did think I was holding up pretty well. I made it to work every day. Then I went straight to my office, shut my door, and effectively shut out my team. I either blew off our meetings, or I attended them but was disengaged.

Then one day, my TEC chair, Jutta Parsons (one of best TEC chairs of all time), came in for our 1-2-1. The first words out of her mouth were, “John, what the hell is the matter with you? You’re destroying the culture in your own company. Don’t you realize the CEO speaks through a megaphone?” (Jutta was never known for beating around the bush.)

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“John, the minute you drive into the parking lot, you are ON STAGE. People are watching your body language, the words you use, even how you walk. Right now, when things are down, 80 percent of your job is about showing up. And not just walking in and closing your door. But showing up with a positive attitude and a vision for the future. If you can’t do that, you’re better off staying home!”

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