Position Yourself for 2018

by Susan Novicki

November is a busy time-everyone is busy finalizing annuals for next year, getting business in for November and December, and creating their plans for 2018. But is everyone also working on closing first and second quarter 2018 right now?

The decision-makers you are calling on are also working on hitting their numbers for this year and creating a plan for next year. We all know that it is extremely easy to have a conversation about 2018 – all of our decision-makers are in the throes of getting their strategies in order as to how they are going to achieve their numbers for 2018. And hopefully all of you are working with both current and new clients to understand their objectives for both current and new products being developed.

But, annuals aside, how many of you have solid business booked for 2018? Budgets can be difficult to achieve but if you have dollars at least presented for first and second quarter now you have a much better chance of exceeding your numbers.

Over the past month I have been involved with 2018 conversations with decision-makers from banks, educational institutions, manufacturers of CPG products, automotive and health care companies. Every person was looking to make some changes and determine the most efficient way to engage with their target consumers and create a series of call-to-action opportunities. Each individual is tasked with challenging undertakings for 2018. If we do our homework ahead of time and have an intelligent conversation to determine their objectives, we will have dollars at least presented through second quarter to these decision-makers. Each of our conversations have ended with presentations and at this point either closed or pitched business for first and, with a couple of decision-makers, second quarter.

A great salesperson needs to be constantly monitoring how he or she is pacing to their goals – both monthly, quarterly and annually. This must be an honest number -”what is the reality that what I have presented is going to close?” So many times I hear people tell me heading into the last week of the month, “I still need $30,000 in digital for this month; how am I going to make this happen?” If a salesperson is actively monitoring their numbers and focusing on pacing to meet their numbers, this question never gets asked. But we have to have the activity in place to succeed and this involves multi-tasking.

Slot out a few hours each week to just focus on 2018 meetings with new decision-makers; get ideas in front of decision-makers to help them in putting together their plans and strategies. You will both be winners in the long run and you will create a long-term partnership with a new important client.

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