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Don’t Slam the Door on Your Friends

What’s your gratitude meter?

As we begin the New Year, now is the perfect time to pay attention to what’s most important—the people in our lives. That means our clients and prospects, our families and friends, our colleagues. It’s time we remember the value of getting personal.

Think about it this way: We don’t regret the text messages we don’t send or the work we don’t do. We regret the time we don’t spend with the people we love. So, put down the gadgets and really be with the people who matter. Focus on building relationships—in your personal and professional life—because connections are the key to success in both.

Ready to prioritize relationships in 2018? Here’s where to start.

Bring Back Balance 

All work and no play makes for a dull life. All tech and no talk makes for dull relationships. 

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I do believe in setting goals. Whatever you want to call them, here are six ways to strike a better balance in 2018:

  1. Make time for yourself
  2. Make time for your family
  3. Eat healthy and exercise
  4. Step away from your computer
  5. Look people in the eyes
  6. And yes … Pick Up the Damn Phone and have a personal conversation

What’s missing? Technology, of course.

With all the cool tech toys we have at our disposal, it’s far too easy to get stuck in a digital un-reality. But our relationships are what really matter. If you’re too busy staring at a screen to look at the person in front of you, that’s a problem. Stop and ask yourself if your dependence on technology has gone too far. Is it taking away from your ability to connect with and talk to others, or even to make eye contact?

If so, make 2018 the year you change your habits—for the sake of your relationships and your sales career.

Show Your Gratitude 

Give people your time and attention, and let them know you appreciate them. Never miss an opportunity to say thanks, or to put your appreciation in writing. Gratitude is good for the soul, and it’s good for business.

It’s also meaningful to be on the receiving end. Those of us who write have no idea the impact we have on our readers unless you tell us. When I told a colleague that I’m not currently mentoring anyone, she immediately corrected me and said, “Joanne, we mentor everyone by the words we write.” I had never thought about it that way. But when I took the time to review all the great questions and feedback readers sent me this past year, I realized she was right! Here are a few messages that touched me deeply:

  • You know, Joanne: I think technology is now acting in our favor! The more power the technology has, the more people or companies need us (good salespeople) to connect and to do what has to be done!
  • Joanne, I must say you are a pit bull and top influencer! I love following you and reading all of the great content you post. I’m always trying to learn and get better, and having leaders like you in my network allows me to do that.
  • I cannot express how much your note meant to me. As a woman salesperson in tech, I’ve been at a professional crossroads. Your quick note recognizing my efforts helped me to reset and focus on what matters, and to believe in myself and trust my choices. So, thank you!
  • I’ve really been enjoying your conversations on YouTube. I saw your conversations with people on LinkedIn, talking about the importance of using it to start a conversation rather than pitching a product, and I thought it to be a very profound statement.
  • I am a huge fan of your work and I am completely absorbed in your approach. I utilize social media to maximize sales every day, and it is very effective.
  • Your referral training has forever shaped much of what our company teaches today.
  • Wonderful call this a.m. Love the reminder that it is still all about relationships. I have begun to respond directly and comment on LinkedIn, and it is helping build those relationships. So thank you!!!

Thank you for taking the time to write to me. Hearing about the impact my words have on your success blows me away. Every time.

I’m starting this New Year with a great sense of gratitude and purpose because of the account based selling professionals I reach, and who reach out to me. Please keep sending me your feedback, suggestions, and questions. I love hearing from you and being inspired by your kind words and great ideas.

Never forget that we ultimately do business with people, not with companies. Your connection is not technology. Your connection is a person, just like you.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018, and a year filled with great referrals.

Still planning your 2018 Sales Kickoff meeting? Help your team prepare for their best sales year yet with referral selling—the only account based sales development strategy that delivers a 50–70 percent conversion rate. Invite Joanne to speak at your event, and your team will learn how to get referral introductions that fill their pipelines with nothing but hot, qualified sales leads.

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