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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Five To Do's for a Successful Year

It is the first week of the year and you're going to hear a lot about business plans, forecasts, funnel management, and quotas.  Thousands of time-saving, productivity enhancing, sales coaching, articles flow through the digital rivers of the internet - nauseating in its volume.

I ask you, how are you, personally, forging ahead in the new year?   Will you be part of another's plan or will you set the agenda?

My advice is simple - nod your head to whatever your manager says, tuck the dogma away, get alone and do the following five things:

1.  Download and print the chart below

The chart was developed to illuminate intent between clients and vendors. It works on a personal basis as well.

2.  Find your personal position on the chart

Trust yourself enough to be completely honest.  There is NO WRONG position. Think about the past year; did you add value beyond delivery and price?

3.  Find your employer's position

Step back and consider your organization's sales over the past 12 months. Did you see lots of devices delivered yet a handful of software implementations?  Are your equipment quota's higher than services?  Do you lead with the latest and greatest or solve real business problems?  Do you often hear your manager say, "That price is not competitive, bury the profit in the service, bundle installation into the lease..."?

4.  Where do your best client implementations fall on the chart?

Now consider your client base.  Did you sell machines or provide answers? Were most of your deals price-driven?  Did they begin and end with a purchasing agent?

5.  Look at the gaps and imagine moving into a more desirable position in 2015.  What will it take?

Although there is no wrong position, if for example, your prospect is looking for a 'Specialized' relationship and your company only provides 'Transactional' services, your relationship is not sustainable.

By the same token, if your personal position is in 'Specialized' but your employer falls comfortably in the 'Transactional' column, you may have some issues to work out.

If your clients are all in 'Transactional' yet you want to get to the 'Specialized' area, what can you do to elevate the conversation?

This is a simple beginning to personal success - we can get deep on both the provider and client-side of the spectrum.  The devil is in how your customers perceive your offering relevant to how they think of themselves; do you two match?

I'd love to discuss with you how to best use this tool.  It's been effective for providers and end-users alike.

For now, hang your chart in your cube, office, or dashboard.  Embed it into your pre-call planning or (god forbid) your pitchbook - heck, make it your wallpaper.

But make sure to take a pic and email it to me.  The most interesting one will get a Starbucks card on me.


Reach out to me: and enjoy this sweet jam:

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Greg Walters, Incorporated