Going into a new year and being successful in sales in 2021 means re-evaluating our sales from last year- what worked this year, what didn’t, and put a plan in place for 2021.
When you are evaluating your sales and your actions, ask yourself these two questions:
1. did this action bring in results this year? and
2. if not, then did you really give it a fair chance and put an effort into making it work or did you just make it a haphazard effort?
We all love the things that give us immediate results, but it’s not always possible. Especially this year, when we have had to be a little more creative in our selling.
We’ve had to be a bit more strategic and put plans in place to win.
Creating and sticking to a daily schedule has been helpful for keeping my mind focused on selling.
Mornings are for phone calls and presentations and afternoons are for prospecting and reaching out to people that I haven’t spoken to before. And I end the day speaking again with people I already know.
I prefer the mornings, because they know the people and it’s easier.
Afternoons are harder and may not bring immediate results, but I am planting seeds for future business. I end the day on a high note, with people I know again, who are closer to doing business with me or to buying this month.
Your schedule may look different, but starting and ending the day positively is good for your psyche. Do what feels comfortable for you — just do it and stick to it.
Being successful in sales in 2021 means being regimented — having a plan and sticking with it, especially if you are working remotely and don’t have the structure you might get by working in an office.
I’ve been doing big sales prospecting email campaigns,
both to my existing and to new clients, and retargeting (or calling) only those people that open my email.
When I can see that someone has opened an email two, three or even four times, that person gets a call.
Use the available technology through your CRM, like Salesforce, to help you see when your emails are getting open and reach out to those engaged people.
It’s kind of like pre-qualifying your prospects through your messaging before you even meet them.
Tedious, yes, but much better than sending out letters and postcard mailers and not being able to tell who’s actually paying attention to you.
Even if your company’s marketing department sent out emails, send your own.
Make them look different from what your company is sending. Try and create a “feeling” with your emails that will make your prospects want to read more from you and even “meet” you. Probably through a phone conversation or a virtual call.
I’ve also had to do extra things, because even now not everyone uses email! Really!!!
So when I can’t email them, instead of just dropping that proposal into snail mail, (it’s called snail mail for a reason, trust me), I will drop it off at their front door, if they are local, or overnight it. Then we can talk about it on the phone and close the deal.
I batch my days where I will spend the morning once or twice a week delivering three or four proposals. It’s not the best situation, but waiting for that mail to get delivered could take a week or even more. This way I know they have gotten it.
This also shows my prospect that they are worth the drive, and it creates an urgency that just saying “I’ll put it in the mail for you” does not.
I know you’ve all heard of work smarter, not harder. And I am in absolute agreement of that statement. But to me, it doesn’t mean work smarter – work less. It means work smarter so you have the time to do more!
Like doing the things to build your future business that you might not see immediate results from (remember that ongoing tedious email campaign?)
Especially if you are a new-ish person in sales.
There are so many companies looking for salespeople.
I see a lot of people getting their insurance licenses, and people getting their realtor licenses, and going into sales.
You will get tons of product and service training, I promise you that. But not much direction on what to do with that training.
If you are new-ish in sales, get the free sales transformation roadmap right here. See how you can go from a newish salesperson to a top sales performer.
Welcome, and congratulations on your new career!
And for those of you that have persevered and continued selling this year, congratulations to you for everything you’ve done to stay relevant and successful, and adapting sometimes weekly to get the job done.
Some of you may know that I started my sales career in New York City.
You’ve heard the Frank Sinatra song New York, New York—“If I can make it there, I’m going to make it anywhere”.
2020 – if I can make it this year, I’m going to make it any year.
That song has become the theme song for many of us in 2020.
Think about it, whether you are new-ish or a seasoned, top-performing salesperson, if we can get through this and come out on top – or at least not too bruised, the rest should be easy, right?
Which leads me right back to the beginning, … and we come full circle.
To summarize, how to be successful in sales moving forward into 2021:
✅. Batch your time into similar tasks that you need to do. Start and end your day on a high note.
✅. Re-evaluate, keep doing the seed planting in December and January, and watch what grows.
✅ Embrace technology like email and web conferencing to connect and stay connected – be creative if your client doesn’t have the capability printing out a proposal by personally dropping it off at their location if they’re local or overnighting it if they’re not so, that you can shorten the sales process time. Then review the proposal, answer questions, and close the sale over the phone. (There’s another thing I NEVER thought I would say!)
✅. Encourage more referrals – without even asking. Sometimes just sending a holiday card or an email can “remind” someone how wonderful you are.
✅. Take the extra time you have at home and invest in improving yourself (notice I didn’t just say sales – but taking time for personal mindset or a new home fitness program in 2021 is imperative).
- Your Sales Negotiation Style (with free self-assessment quiz)
- A Story of Sales Mindset and Perspective
- How to Use Non-Verbal Communication Skills to Increase Your Sales
- The Introvert’s Edge to Networking by Matthew Pollard book review
- Your Sales Communication Style (with free self-assessment quiz)
I‘d love to hear your thoughts on this post! Please post your message in the comments below.