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Hope Is Not a Strategy

Happy New Year! Is 2022 an ending of 2021, or is it a new beginning for you? It can be both. Midway last year, I was using terms like "post-pandemic." It was my hope that the pandemic was concluding, and we were finally moving on. I was wrong.

If there's one thing I've been quoted saying it's, "Hope is not a strategy." Hope is a great attitude, but it must be backed up with a plan. Hope is a positive expectancy. Hope with a plan can get dramatic results. Hope without action will often result in disappointment. So, as we close the 2021 chapter and begin 2022, let's not just hope for success in the new year, let's make a plan.

I like to start with why: Sales professionals are on the front lines of economic growth and prosperity in their communities. If you think about it, nothing happens until a sale is made. Sales are the grease that drives the economic engine, and as a salesperson, you can make things better, not just hope they get better.

Here are some questions to ensure your hopes turn into reality:

We hope things will get better — What steps are you taking to ensure they get better? Are you talking to more prospects, are you providing greater value to your current clients? Are you increasing your knowledge and expertise?

We hope this client will buy — Have you prepared a presentation that is specifically addressing the most important need of the client? Solving their most pressing problem? Have you given them a value proposition that makes not buying impossible?

We hope to hit our goal — Are you communicating with enough people? Do you have enough business in your pipeline? Are you constantly looking for prospects and new business new categories that have emerged in crisis? Have you gone deeper into your current accounts looking for new profit centers and new ways to help?

We hope this new seller will make it — In the past, the standard was to give new sellers a rate card and a phone book and wish them good luck. Are you providing a comprehensive learning protocol to ensure their success? Have you paired new sellers with a successful seller in a mentor relationship? Do you have a repeatable sales process that your new sellers can follow to ensure success? We would encourage you to make a list of the things you hope for both personal and professional. Then ask yourself, what action steps can you take to turn your hopes into reality. With the right attitude (hope) AND action, anything is possible. If you want some input, tell me the ONE thing you want to do differently in 2022 and I'll be happy to follow-up with you throughout the year to help you stay on track — just one thing. Anyone can change one thing. What's yours? Email me at jeff.smchidt@rab.com.

Happy first Friday of 2022!

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at jeff.schmidt@rab.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB