It’s a new year, which means records are starting new, new goals are being made, and last year fades from view. In Mark Hunter’s video “What you Most Need to Forget in the New Year”, Hunter pleads with us to forget something for this whole year: negative thinking.

He wants each of us to start the year out at an incredibly positive level. So take a piece of paper right now- yes, right now- I know you're reading a summary of the video. Take a piece of paper right now and write down the five best things that happened to you last year.

Keep this piece of paper near you the whole year to positively remind you of good things you did and had happen to you in 2016. Your goal for 2017 is to blow past those things and create even more better things for yourself.

Don’t get discouraged about slow sales: focus on long-term trends, try to do better than last year, all while keeping a positive mindset.

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2. Research: Why Americans Are So Impressed With Busyness

In Silvia Bellezza, Neeru Paharia, Anat Keinan’s article, they mention how being busy is celebrated more than ever before. Rather than leisure time showing success, busyness now does. Magazines portray busy businesspeople, not businesspeople on vacation. People brag about their busyness, and it is always mentioned in conversation.

“Intrigued by this phenomenon, we decided to conduct a series of studies to examine how signaling busyness at work influences perceptions of status in the eyes of others. In a series of experiments, we varied whether a person was described as conducting a leisurely lifestyle or working long hours. For example, in one of the experiments, participants read a short description of a 35-year-old man named Jeff. Specifically, participants in one condition read, “Jeff works long hours and his calendar is always full.” In contrast, participants in the other condition read, “Jeff does not work and has a leisurely lifestyle.” After reading these scenarios, participants rated the perceived social status of the person described. In general, we found that the busy person is perceived as higher status.

The authors believe that part of the "busy status" trumping the "leisure status" is due to busyness correlating to being sought after. Can you think of examples in your life where you believed being busy raised your status in society? Have you ever felt guilty for taking breaks or having free time? Remember the negative effects of always being so busy, and take time when you need it. Sales especially is a demanding field often met with a lot of rejection. It’s okay if you need time to yourself. This time in the end with help in your work as you bring more individuality and creativity to the table.

“Even if the signaling power of busyness and lack of leisure is on the rise, the undesirable physiological consequences of an overworked lifestyle are well known (e.g., the long-term negative impact on happiness, wellbeing, and health). If Violet Crawley’s “total-leisure” lifestyle may be a little anachronistic, as a society, we should not converge to a “total-work” lifestyle either. Long live the weekend!”

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3. Becoming a Giving Sales Person

In Keenan’s sales tip, he reminds us that sales is a giving profession. He writes: “We’re too busy asking for our prospect's time. We want 10 minutes of their time to tell them how great we are. We want 30 minutes to barrage them with questions for our discovery call. We want 45 minutes to do a demo. Sales people and sales organizations are constantly in taking mode. They’re always looking to take from their prospects in pursuit of the next sale.”

Instead, we need to remember that we win when we give. Become a giving organization and give content, ideas, solutions, support---anything to help customers see our value to them.

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4. How to get an Employee to Work Faster

In Carolyn O’Hara’s article, she addresses the expected pace at work has increased. Everyone is expected to do more in less time. When you have a slower person on your team, how do you help them pick up the pace and support them in doing so? She provides these tips:

  • Find the source of the sluggishness. It’d be best to straight up ask them about this, and remember to assume positive intent.
  • Set clear, specific expectations. Break up tasks and make things specific. Make sure you let them know how long certain tasks should take.
  • Eliminate roadblocks and hurdles. There may be impediments in your employee’s work life that you didn’t even know about. Be aware of them and try to help in any way you can.
  • Avoid weaponizing data. Don’t embarrass them with data of their poor performance. Encourage them positively.
  • Divide large assignments into smaller ones.
  • Find projects they enjoy. 
  • Don’t forget to offer feedback.

Help your sales employees work faster and harder by being a positive employer.

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5. Narcissism: The Biggest Reason Your Sales Emails Fail

In Heather R. Morgan’s article,  Morgan starts with stating sales emails should NOT be all about you and your company.

She writes, “Instead, you should put your prospective customers front-and-center when you plan a new campaign: What do they care about? What are their problems, and how can you solve them? How can you add value to their business?”

People usually don’t buy to support your company. They buy because they have problems that need solving. Five components that contain narcissism you need to do away with:

  1. You lead with an introduction about you and your company. Instead, lead with a problem your prospect would be interested in.
  2. You suck at personalizing emails.
  3. You don’t ask questions.
  4. You include long feature lists.
  5. You’re using jargon and filler words.

Get rid of narcissism in your emails and do better in sales.

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Resolve to make coaching actually happen in the new year. Check out this infographic to see how it can give you the edge in 2017.

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