Thoughts on how to make this new year better

January 3, 2012
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Here are 7.5 things to think about now that the new year is here:

1. Why are people sending me e-mails with “the most sincere wishes from the bottom of our hearts …” and then asking me to buy their crap in the same e-mail? Couldn’t they send me sincere wishes in one e-mail, and “buy my crap” requests in the other?

When I get these e-mail cards, I make a mental note to never to do business with these people.

How sincere are your holiday greetings?

2. My daughter, Gabrielle, and I had a Chick-Fil-A craving for lunch recently. Went to the drive-through and the line was curled around the building and out into the street. Packed. Rats. So we decided to go next door to Burger King and try their “new” fries. No one was in line. The restaurant parking lot was nearly empty at the height of the lunch hour.

Consumer report: The fries sucked, but not as bad as the glued-together chicken tenders. Lesson: Chick-Fil-A is kicking ass because of quality. When will the others get it?

In 2012, quality will trump price. Where is your focus?

3. Fast food places serve Coca-Cola, except when they’re owned by Pepsi. Pepsi had to buy the chain to get the business. Speaks volumes for which drink is the most popular. I can’t picture you bellying up to the bar and ordering a “rum and Pepsi.”

My philosophy has always been: “Don’t offer one or the other; offer both and let the customer choose.”

4. During the holiday season, people are traveling to see their families. They’re joyous and have visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads. They’re excited for family dinners, reunions, returning soldiers, Christmas dinners and gifts.

Only one problem: airline travel. There is no worse service in the world, especially at holiday time. Wouldn’t you think they’d pull out the stops? Serve cookies and milk to passengers (customers) waiting in the two-hour line to pay for baggage? Not a chance. Why? They don’t get service, and they’ll never get WOW!

In 2012, service will trump price and lead to loyalty. How’s your service?

And now for the good news …

5. This year will be better than the last few — all kinds of opportunities to cash in on. My recipe for 2012 has already been posted, but you can add to the list and make your resolutions in February. Give yourself a month to make action plans and develop a commitment mindset. For the most part, January has never been a “resolution achievement” month. Why not just make the plan in January, and commit in February?

How about this resolution: Limit yourself to five hours of TV a week. Invest the rest of your time on the Internet: to blog, master business social media and learn more about your customers and your competition.

What’s your plan of achievement?

6. The newest sales tools will become dominant in your world. Smart phones are not an option. It will be interesting to see how well (if) BlackBerry fares. At one point they dominated the market, and now they struggle to stay in it. Why? Failure to progress fast enough, service failures and fierce competition. The jury is still out, but I’d be looking at other options if it were me.

What’s in your pocket?

7. The iPad is dominant. Many corporations are issuing them instead of laptops, and salespeople love them. I see old guys (like me) on the plane pulling out their iPad — 10-hour battery, plenty of software, portable keyboard, touch screen — to prepare a keynote presentation, read a book, listen to music, compose e-mails and play Angry Birds. Anyone from age 2 to 92 can master it intuitively. Steve Jobs’ last and lasting legacy.

Got iPad?

7.5. You. What’s with you this new year? How will you be better as a person and a salesperson? What will make you better? Ever ask yourself this question as you watch something on TV: Will watching this double my sales? Ouch.

Here’s my 40-year observation: Most people have the strength and energy to create their own world and their own success, yet very few do. Grab your copy of “The Little Engine That Could.” The magic formula is in there.

I think you can! I think you can!

Formula for 2012 personal success: Think you can, build up a head of steam, ask for help, give it all you’ve got, and be humble and grateful when you make it up the hill.

Happy, Merry Everything!

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

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