My family has been without power for two days and counting. Blackouts in Northern California seem to be a regular occurrence as wildfires become a greater threat to the region. But my electricity woes are nothing compared to what the evacuees are facing.

This got me thinking … What’s going on with your Q4 forecast? Are you in blackout mode? Are prospects postponing decisions? Are they not returning your calls, texts, or emails?

There’s so much pressure to close year-end business and make or exceed our quotas. You’re in blackout mode if you still need to close more than 25 percent of your business in Q4. You should be spending 75 percent of your time booking business for next year.

Thinks that’s impossible? It’s not. Get only qualified leads in your Q1 pipe and beyond. It’s time to stop talking and start doing. Go here. Let me know what questions you have, and we’ll schedule a call.

Plus, here’s what you might have missed from the No More Cold Calling blog this month …

It Takes 3 Things for Women in Sales to Be Bulldogs. Find Out How

When Amy referred to herself as a “bulldog,” the idea conjured up images of a pushy, arrogant, aggressive, in-your-face salesperson—the kind none of us wants to be. But that’s not what bulldogs are, and it’s not what she meant. Like most successful women in sales, Amy is tenacious. She sells with confidence. She’s dedicated and loyal—a dog with a bone who works hard to find the best possible solutions for her clients. And that’s what all salespeople should be doing to earn trust and promote business development. Considering only about 18 percent of buyers fully trust salespeople, perhaps more salespeople should be acting like bulldogs — i.e., acting like successful women in sales. Here’s what I’ve learned about selling from some top women leaders. (Read “It Takes 3 Things for Women in Sales to Be Bulldogs. Find Out How.”)

Register NOW for Last-of-the-Year Referral Selling Virtual Workshop

How would you like to fill your Q1 pipeline with only qualified leads—the kind of prospects who already want to talk to you before you ever make contact? That might sound like a pipe dream, but I assure you, with my referral selling virtual workshop series, it’s not. You’ll need to move quickly, because we’re already deep into Q4. What will happen if you don’t have qualified leads ready to go by the end of this year? Will you have enough clients and enough closed business in Q1 and beyond? Or will you be behind the curve before the New Year has even begun? Now’s the time to get on your prospects’ radar—before their 2020 budgets are set and before your competitors have had a chance to make their mark. In other words, now’s the time to be asking for referrals. Find out how in my Q4 Virtual Referral Selling Workshop. (Read “Register NOW for the Last-of-the-Year Referral Selling Virtual Workshop.”)

Does Size Really Matter?

If you’re in data overload, you may not need to be. You’ve heard the phrase: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I know it’s a disgusting mental image, but there’s wisdom in this metaphor. How often do you take on large projects and get mired down in the details—rather than breaking the project into small, digestible, actionable chunks? You’re overwhelmed with data and don’t know where to start, so you start everywhere. And nowhere. (Read “Does Size Matter?”)

Why True Leadership Is a Transfer of Belief

I’m not surprised that communication is the #1 driver of exceptional leadership. It’s common sense. It’s also becoming a common problem, considering effective communication is in increasingly short supply. We see lack of communication in our companies, when we travel, when we shop, and at home. And we feel the results of it. Travel is especially frustrating. Your flight’s late, and there’s no announcement about why. The pilot doesn’t greet you or tell you whether the flight will be smooth … or not. Let me know, for heaven’s sake, whether I’ll be early, late, or on time. Seems like such a simple request, doesn’t it? It happens in business too. Communicating a vision isn’t easy, and most of the time, the message is garbled and unclear. Employees leave a presentation just as confused as before and even less committed. So, what’s the secret to effective communication for sales leaders? (Read “Why True Leadership Is a Transfer of Belief.”)