There’s Still Time!

by Phyllis Sisenwine

There’s still time…. Make it a great year!

When I was in outside sales selling office supplies and office furniture around Thanksgiving the salespeople would say, “December is always a bad month. The holidays and vacations make it impossible to sell anything”. The owner of our company asked me to suggest something to motivate the sales force in December. I recommended a “new account contest”. Since I had always wanted to go to the restaurant, Le Bec Fin, I suggested that the prize for opening the most new accounts in December be a gift certificate to the winner’s restaurant of choice. The owner thought it was a great idea. He was more than willing to invest a few hundred dollars for a dinner to encourage the sales force to open new accounts.

When the contest was announced, the typical responses were, “Open new accounts in December?” Impossible! “Buyers don’t want to see salespeople in December. “Everyone’s on vacation.” “People are going to holiday parties.” “I’ll never win.” All the responses were negative self-talk. Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right!” I thought I could. And I believe our thoughts create our reality. So I thought about winning and about what night in January would be best for my dinner at Le Bec Fin.

I set my sights on winning. I was determined to open more new accounts than any of the other sales reps.

I looked at my list of prospects and planned a strategy to meet with all of them. I also decided to find some new prospects (companies that were located near my existing accounts that I had never called on) Instead of thinking people were too busy to see me in December I thought that in December people are winding down and often are not in an aggressive work mode. What a great time for them to meet with me. I planned to visit the prospect and show them some new products and bring them some samples. Some people were on vacation, but the ones that were working were happy to see visitors. They were often casually dressed and in a relaxed holiday mood. Cookies and candies were on several desks and the atmosphere was very festive.

I made many friends that month and opened more accounts than any other salesperson. Taking my husband to Le Bec Fin for dinner was quite a treat.

What do you want to accomplish before the end of the year? Are there prospects to call on, or proposals to send out? If you say, “December is a great month in my business” you have a much better chance of making it a successful month than if you say ‘December is so slow I may as well not work at all”

One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read is “What to say when you talk to your self” by Shad Helmstetter. He says that as much as 77% of what you tell yourself may be working against you. His book teaches how the technique of self-talk can reverse negative programming and fill your life with new, vital energy. Our brain is like a computer. Whatever we put into it, it will believe. It has no choice. Rather than tell yourself, “I never get much business at the end of the year”, try this self-talk “December is a great month for me. I will open several new accounts and make some great connections”.

Positive self-talk really works. The brain simply believes what you tell it. A positive message can change your attitude. Everything we do is affected by our attitude. It propels us forward or holds us back. Our attitudes are determined by our beliefs. Positive self-talk creates our beliefs. Say to yourself “December is a very productive month. I always accomplish a lot at the end of the year”

Whether it’s opening up new accounts, or reorganizing your office, think about what you want to accomplish in the next few weeks. Cleaning out old files will make room for the new clients you want. Whether it’s clearing off the top of your desk, cleaning out a closet or reorganizing your book shelves you can create a year end goal to eliminate anything you are putting up with. How great it will be to start the new year in a very positive way. Say to yourself, “I like December. It affords me the time and energy to accomplish what I want. I have goals to reach before the year 2000 comes to a close”

Have a great month!

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