Re think your holiday game plan and name plan

December 27, 2011
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“It’s beginning to look a lot like, Chris … ah, er …” It’s “holiday” time.

When I was growing up, they called it Christmas. Now, in order to offend no one, they call it nothing. Sad.

So, it’s shopping time, party time, vacation time, family time, gift-giving time, bonus time, travel time, football time, basketball time, TV time and now: Facebook posting time. But, according to lawyers and HR departments, it’s NOT Christmas!

Easy to understand where “bah, humbug!” came from.

With all of that — and the economy, and politics, and world unrest — it’s time to sell, and celebrate.

What will you be doing? How will you be selling? How will you be celebrating? How will you be getting ready for next year?

Or are you just making your list and checking it twice?

The holiday season is an emotional one. It’s time to reflect, time to remember, time to review and time to reconsider what you’ve done in the past so you can resolve what to do in the future.

Many plans and goals are made during the holiday season — some of them are even kept and achieved. Most, unfortunately, are not. Reason? Goals and plans made in the heat and the emotion of the moment are often not realistic.

I’m writing about this so you might take more time and put more realism into your next year’s list of proposed achievements.

My planning and goal setting has always had the luck of the calendar. I start thinking and writing about the next year during December and January — and decide what I will document as my goals on my birthday, Feb. 11. By then, the emotion of the moment has calmed and I am able to set them, having had a month to think about them.

But let’s get back to today and the “holiday season” — Santa (can I say that?) and sugar plums and holiday trees (what an insult to tradition). Hey, let’s go out and build a snowperson. Just kidding.

Here’s what you need to be doing this holiday season. These are my personal recommendations for maximum holiday enjoyment, both in business and with family:

Do not use auto-reply telling people you’re out of the office for the holidays. Either respond, or let them sit until you return. If I send you an e-mail, I don’t really care where you are or what you are doing.

Send cards that are saved. Go to Ace of Sales (aceofsales.com) and e-mail holiday cards that rock. Thank your customers. Don’t just wish them well.

Change impersonal to personal. I want a card signed by people, not a printed corporate name at the bottom.

Spend as much time as you can playing with kids. They relax you and bring you back to a less stressful time. They also tell you what’s next. Remember a few years ago when they were texting and you weren’t? Ask them what’s new. Then start doing it as soon as you can.

Get together with the people closest to you and tell them how grateful you are that they’re in your life. Trade some memories. Tell them you love them. Offer some new ideas.

Stay positive. Stay sober. And stay focused on family, not just football.

Make peace with at least one person. There’s someone you’ll see during the season that’s not your favorite. Talk it out and make it a better relationship. You’ll feel great.

Be your own Santa Claus. Make a list of gifts to buy and put yourself at the top. Buy yourself something nice, something you really want. Celebrate your past year and set the tone for next year.

Select a local children’s charity and give them some books. As long as we’re talking Santa, be a real one.

Select a local children’s hospital and visit with small gifts. You’ll feel way better than the children you visited. (And they will feel great!)

And as much as I want to keep work out of this writing, I cannot. Many people will be working, and this is an excellent time to set meetings, have meetings, make sales and solidify relationships.

It’s the season, baby. Let it snow.

Go out and work in it.

Go out and play in it.


Jeffrey Gitomer’s website, www.gitomer.com, has information about training and seminars, or e-mail him personally at salesman@gitomer.com.


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