Elements from the past 20 years you can use for the next 20

April 9, 2012
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I’m celebrating my 20th year of writing about sales, networking, loyalty, trust, attitude, leadership, business social media and personal development.

My core of information transformed into a body of work that includes 11 books — all bestsellers. I did it while you were watching TV. I chose to write instead of watch.

Last week was the second part of the celebration, talking about the evolution of the selling process and how it will affect you and your sales for the next 20. This is the third and final part. If you missed the first two, you can find all three parts at Gitomer.com, by entering the word “twenty” in the GitBit box.

Here’s the conclusion of what’s now and what’s next:

19. Understand creativity. Most people say they’re creative, but they have never read a book on the science of it. That might be a good intention for the remainder of 2012. Start with anything by Michael Michalko.

20. Convert leads to sales. This is as challenging as any sales activity in the cycle. Sales have been dangling in the wind for years. Decisions are finally picking up speed. Now is the time to stay in consistent, “value-based” follow-up mode. Stay on track and sales will follow.

21. Your attitude. You have complete control and choice as to the way you dedicate yourself to the way you think.

As you emerge from the economic depression of the past four years, it is imperative that your attitude (both at home and at work) is set on YES! This one element will enhance everyone’s communication, morale, service and sales.

22. Earn trust. You don’t ask for trust. You can’t force trust. You earn trust. How are you earning it?

23. Earn sales. You don’t ask for sales. You can’t force sales. You earn sales. Still asking? Still trying to “close”?

24. Earn loyalty. You don’t ask for loyalty. You can’t force loyalty. You earn loyalty. Loyalty comes from service and value received. Where’s your value?

25. Earn referrals. You don’t ask for referrals. You can’t force referrals. You earn referrals. Referrals are not just leads, they’re report cards.

26. Earn testimonials. You don’t ask for testimonials. You don’t force testimonials. You earn testimonials. Testimonials are your only valid proof.

27. Differentiate in the mind of the customer. Differentiating is the key to winning on value over price. Your branded e-mails can differentiate you from the others. Go to www.aceofsales.com, subscribe, and you will immediately begin to genuinely differentiate.  

28. Take action. Put away the remote. I know you take action during the workday; it’s before and after the workday that I’m talking about. Allocate 30 minutes in the morning and one hour in the evening to improving one of these imperatives each day.

29. Consistency of actions. Get up earlier every day, and do something for you: exercise, read, think, write — every day. That’s been one of my “obvious” 20-year secrets.

30. Next-level achievement. Study your business, your market, your competition, your customers and yourself. When you do, what’s next for you will become obvious.

31. Family support. Nothing and no one is more important. You need the support of your family; they need yours. Best advice: Give genuine support, and yours will follow.

32. Write every day. Writing leads to wealth — not money, wealth. Every penny I have earned since March 23, 1992, I can trace back to something I wrote. But much more than money, I have gained reputation, recognition and rewards that have enhanced my success all the way to fulfillment. And I promise that writing every day will do the same for you.

32.5 Celebrate often. Please do not wait to celebrate. Life’s short. Celebrate everything: every sale, every victory, every day. And don’t be cheap about it. 

Take action now, not tomorrow: Go back over the entire list of 32.5 imperatives and rate yourself 1 to 10 on how well you stack up against each element that I have presented. That will give you the most realistic picture of where you are versus where you need to be. And it will give you a clearer vision of where you’re going.

All you need to do is make a plan of “how.”

Dedicate an hour a day to you. In 20 years, you’ll be an instant success. I’m proof.

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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