As a young broker, I made an important strategic decision that hugely impacted my success. It didn’t have to do with a deal I closed, or a business relationship I built. I hired a career coach. My coach helped me to improve my performance by taking a step back and looking at how I conducted business, then worked with me to conduct business better.
The tips I learned from that coach, and the lessons I’ve learned since, are some of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve gotten. Not every salesperson can hire a coach, but every person can benefit from implementing these ten tips to improve their performance in 2016:
- Learn to delegate. The first thing my coach suggested was that I hire an assistant and learn to delegate as much as a I could so that I could concentrate solely on nurturing sales and serving and closing clients. I followed that advice and hired an assistant, who I have now worked with for more than twenty years. My overall production numbers improved by more than 25 percent in one year, and more than 50 percent in the following years.
- Promote your business regularly and consistently. As salespeople, most of us are doing a poor job of promoting our business and ourselves. Today’s salespeople have a wealth of social media and digital tools at their fingertips, and they should have a plan in place to use those tools to attract new clients and ensure they’re still on the radar of past clients.
- Set realistic goals. It’s important to establish a business plan at the beginning of each year and outline a few measurable, attainable goals that you want to achieve.
- Make business planning a weekly event. Setting goals in a business plan each year is just the first step. As anyone who has made a failed New Year’s resolution will tell you, it’s equally important to review those goals each week and evaluate your progress against them.
- Learn Something New. Educate yourself constantly. Calendar in time to read everyday, or find seminars and classes you can take to improve your performance.
- Join a Networking Group. LinkedIn, Meetup, and other sites make it easier than ever to find organizations and events where you can network with others in your industry, meet prospects and build relationships that can help you down the road.
- Volunteer. Giving something back not only has a positive impact on your community, it can also be a great networking vehicle.
- Schedule time for yourself. When you close a deal, reward yourself. On a daily basis, learn how to work smarter and calendar your day so you leave time for you.
- Don’t just “make do.” Technology is changing faster than ever, and it’s important to stay on top of it. As a salesperson, you want to make sure your brand is on every platform prospects are using.
- Drop what’s not working for you and move on. This can be the hardest change to make. Poor salespeople continue to do the same things with the same poor results, while great salespeople learn to adapt to changes in the marketplace.