This is the 20th anniversary of my first column.
THIS is the 20th anniversary of my first column. ‘Sales Moves’ first appeared in the Charlotte Business Journal on March 23 1992. The column was an instant success. It soon found its way to Dallas, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, and a bunch of other cities. My column has appeared in more than 250 publications.
Mark Ethridge, then-publisher of the Charlotte Business Journal, novelist, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and my good friend and supporter, said that publishing ‘Sales Moves’ was the marketing decision that had most impact 1992.
It was the turning point in my career.
As a result of the column’s publication, people began to call from all over the country, and still do every day. Newspapers called wanting to publish the column. Readers called to thank me for helping them make sales. I found out that salespeople were hanging my weekly article on the wall in their offices. They were copying the column and passing it around. They were mailing it to friends and co-workers in other cities. They were using the column to lead sales meetings.
All of that occurred before the internet. Times, and publishing strategies, have changed. Drastically. So have lots of sales strategies. This writing is strategic for you to understand what is ‘now’, and what you have to do to be prepared for ‘next’.
Think about the early days of URL registration. What kind of fortune could you have made if you had jumped on it. Did you? Many people waited ... too long. How long did you wait? I was astute enough to get my family name, ‘Gitomer.com’ You?
I have been writing for 20 years. For that same amount of time, I have asked you to write with me. I know what writing does because I live the essence of it. In 1992 you had to rely on print media. Now, you’re your own publishing house. There’s no reason for your voice to be muted, and through search engines and social media there’s every opportunity to be found.
If you’re old enough to have been in the working world 20 years ago you have seen many evolutions – mobile phone, computer, laptop, software, internet, email, wireless connection, and the rise of China, to name a few.
The list below is not a ‘to do’ list. It’s a ‘to understand’ first and to make a (flexible) plan of action second list. To take consistent, deliberate actions to create your own success. These are imperatives for the ‘now’ and the near future. Imperatives are not optional.
Here are the imperatives of success for 2012 – and the next 20 years.
1. Think. Set aside time to understand and see the big picture, and how you fit into it. Alongside your to do list, create a longer list of ‘to become’. That’s where thinking comes from. And make sure you document as you think. Don’t let thoughts and ideas escape. Ever.
2. Allocate time. Time management is passé. Allocate productive use for each hour of the day. Time management is a waste of time, has no finite measurement, and is confusing. Time allocation says there are 24 hours in the day and asks how will you invest each one of them. Once you realise you need an hour to make follow-ups, an hour to answer emails, an hour to do business social media, and so on – you now understand where your day goes. There is flexibility to go on appointments, attend meetings, and be with your family – but ‘allocation’ is a word that resonates and a concept you can control.
3. Attract. Getting customers to call you is the real key to convert selling to buying. Writing with valuable messages creates attraction (not sitting on a couch manifesting).
4. Engage. The step after attract is engage. I got you here. Can I keep you here? Why would I want to read, or get involved, or buy? Those answers will lead you to sales. Maybe you need to ask the last 10 people that bought.
5. Connect. I may buy, but it may be transactional. Is there any reason to stay connected with you? I don’t know your reasons, but I know mine. My customers (like you) want more now and to gain knowledge. My customers want stuff about them and their success. Yours?
Yikes! I’m out of space. To be continued with the rest of the now and soon imperatives. This full two-part article will be prominently displayed on my website after the second part appears next week. Stay tuned, and thank you for your loyalty.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at www.trainone.com. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail email@example.com © 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don't reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112 www.gitomer.com.