How to Get Ready for a New Year
Written by Dave Lorenzo on December 14, 2016 / Podcasts / Sales Strategy
How to Get Ready for a New Year
This episode of the 60 Second Sales Show is all about how to get for a New Year.
If you want to make sure you are on track to make the upcoming year your best, this is the show for you.
Listen now and follow along with the transcript below.
How to Get Ready for a New Year
Hey everyone, welcome to another edition of the 60 Second Sales Show. I’m your host, Dave Lorenzo. With us as always we have Nancy Pop. Hey Nancy, how are you?
Nancy Pop: I’m good, how are you doing?
Dave Lorenzo: I’m doing great. Are you ready for 2017? Are you ready to go?
Nancy Pop: I am so pumped and ready.
Ah! Well, as we record this, there are just 20 days left, a little bit more maybe 21 days left in 2016. You’re listening to this now we’ve got two weeks left. You probably got less than five or six work days left to get ready for 2017. We’re going to help you do that today. I will tell you that I am the perfect guys to cover this topic and here’s why.
Earlier this year, we had the threat of a hurricane where I live in Miami. All my relatives came over my house. In fact, my wife’s family came over so we had 12 people, I think actually 13 people, and two dogs in my house for two days because this thing took forever to get anywhere close to us. Thankfully, it was a near miss because the storm had a 140 mile an hour winds. It was a little over 92, 93 miles off of the coast of Florida. One twist or turn and we could have had a category, I think it was four, storm hit us which would have been huge. It would have been catastrophic.
I tell you this because my home was the place to be. We were all shuttered, we were boarded up, we were completely prepared, and when my wife’s uncle said to me, “Man! How long did it take you to get ready for this?” I said to him, “Ten years.” The reason I said 10 years is because I’ve lived in Florida for 10 years and every year, I go through on June 1, which is the beginning of hurricane season, I go through and I check all my hurricane supplies. I check the batteries. In fact, I replace the batteries in, we have six lanterns we use. Every bedroom has its own light when there’s no power. We have ways to, not only cook, but we had bottled water enough for two weeks for 13 people, so I had a huge amount of bottled water on hand. I’m just a very prepared person.
In fact, today, one of the things I did when I first purchased my car is we, here at my house, we have a fleet of cars. The two cars that my family uses and oftentimes, we will have the two cars that my sister-in-law and her oldest daughter use and my mother-in-law’s car and I’d take care of the maintenance on all of them, and one of the things I realized was that I hadn’t checked the jack and the tire changing equipment in my car or my wife’s car in the last two years. I haven’t checked in since we bought the car.
I went out and I did that. I actually put everything together, I pulled the wheel on each car just to make sure I knew how to do it because I don’t want to have to learn how to do something in a pinch. I don’t want to have to learn to do it in an emergency. That’s how prepared I am. In our cars, we have fire extinguishers. In my home, on each floor, I have a fire extinguisher. In my garage, I have a fire extinguisher. I am prepared.
You as a business owner or a business leader, or a sales professional, need to be prepared at all times as well. When you walk in front of a client and a client asks you a question, that’s the not the first time you’ve ever heard that question. I went out of my driveway, jacked up my cars, put together all the … one of the cars in particular you got to crank down the spare tire. It’s under, it’s a big SUV, it’s under the car. You have to put together the crank and crank it down. I don’t want to be doing that on the side of the Florida turn pike at 2:00 in the morning for the first time. I want to know that I can do it and that I’ve done it before, and I want to know exactly how to do it.
When you’re in front of a sales prospect, you don’t want to think about answering a question that’s difficult for the first time. You want to be prepared for that. What do you do? You make lists of all the possible questions that could come up and you answer them in advance. That’s what professionals do. If you want to be prepared, that’s what you need to do, you need to get ready for each sales appointment, and as we head into a new year, you need to be ready for 2017.
Last night, I gave a terrific speech to a group of insurance executives. It was a little unusual. We were at a sports bar. There was alcohol being served. The more drinks they had, the funnier I was. It was a great, great event because I went on, an hour after, a speaker on insurance went on. I love insurance, I have a lot of insurance but a speaker on insurance sent people running in droves to the bar. By the time I went on, I was the funniest person in the room.
I talked about being prepared for 2017. One of the things that came up, one of the biggest issues that business folks have, business leaders, people who sell have is, dealing with the uncertainty they face in a new year, with a brand new presidential administration, and, if you’re listening to this in the United States, in a divided country.
What can you expect for 2017? The answer is nobody knows. We can’t give you a good answer. Here’s what you’re going to do. I’m going to give you five things to do, five things to focus on in 2017 so that you can be prepared and you can ensure that you’ll be successful. Number one, I want you to create a set of daily basics, create a set of daily habits, and I want you to stick to them. Give you an example.
One of the best habits that you can have is to get up early in the morning and do some form of exercise, whether it’s walking or something even more stimulating or with higher impact like running or going to the gym and working out. The reason that exercise is so important, and this I’m going to credit to a gentleman by the name of Charles Duhig, DUHIG, he wrote a book called, “The Power of Habit”, exercise is what they call a keystone habit. It’s one of the habits that influences your behavior in areas well beyond its specific focus.
If you exercise every day, there’s a very good chance, a high likelihood, that you will eat better. There’s a high likelihood that you will watch what you intake, your quantity of alcohol and sugar. There’s a very good chance that you will be focused on overall fitness if you start your day by exercising. I want you to create your own keystone habit in your business.
For example, one of my keystone habits is I start off every day by writing something. I sit and I write for 45 minutes, sometimes even a little bit longer, sometimes an hour. It could be writing the content for this show, it could be writing an article to go up on DaveLorenzo.com, it could be writing an article for a trade journal, or writing a chapter in one of my books. I write every day for 45 minutes to an hour. That clears my head, it focuses my thinking, and it makes me more productive because I’ve already got some mental gymnastics going. I’ve already got my mind primed for everything else to happen in the day that follows.
Create your own keystone habit. It could be something as simple as calling a client when you first get in the office, call one of your most important clients every day. It could be something as simple as sitting down and writing a thank you note to someone who has done business with you. Create a set of daily basics, a set of daily habits, starting with a keystone habit, something that has an impact on the rest of your day, and do it first thing in the morning.
The second thing I want you to do to get yourself ready for the uncertainty in 2017, I want you to go out as a business leader, an entrepreneur or a sales pro, I want you to go out and each week, connect with a new banker, with a new CPA, and with a new attorney. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking to yourself, “Dave, listen. I sell medical devices. I don’t have any use for a banker. I don’t need to know a CPA other than the person who does my taxes. Honestly, attorney’s I try to avoid them because if I’m getting involved with an attorney, that means that something’s going on. Either somebody is suing me or I’m getting divorced or something bad is happening so I try to avoid those people.” That’s what you’re thinking right now. I know that.
Here’s the reason why I want you to go out and meet one of these people each week. We develop relationships, we build our book of business, we build our sales, we grow our sales by developing relationships, and we develop relationships by solving problems. In 2017, people are not going to know what the tax code is going to look like. The tax code is going to change. If you sell to folks who are concerned about taxes, for example, if you sell to the affluent, they’re going to want to know what’s going on with tax policy. Another thing that’s going to change, laws are going to change left and right. The new administration is going to come in. They’re going to revoke a lot of the old laws that were put in place, particularly those that were done by Executive Order, and there’s going to be a lot of talk about the changes in the law that the new administration is going to push.
The third thing is business regulations are going to change. Baking regulations are going to change. Banks are going to be able to … they’re going to have more freedom. It’s going to be like the wild west. They’re going to be able to do whatever they want. Stop short of being able to do whatever they want but they will have more freedom to operate and new and exotic banking products will be developed. You can count on that.
I want you to go out and I want you to meet a banker, a CPA and an attorney each week because I want you to have people in your stable. I want you to have people in your book that you can refer your clients to when they have problems or when they have questions. Remember, you initiate relationships by going to people and talking to them about what’s going on in their lives, by going to them and asking them what’s keeping them awake at night, by helping them solve problems even if the problems have nothing to do with your area of expertise.
These people, a banker, a CPA, and an attorney are critical because the changes that are coming, the uncertainty that’s going to exist is going to exist in the world of banking regulations, in the world of tax policy, and in the world of changes in the law. You don’t need to know anything about these changes yourself, you just need to know the right people to connect your clients to when they have questions. Each week, in 2017, I want you to go out and meet a banker, a CPA, and an attorney.
By the way, just so you know, bankers, CPAs, and attorneys work with lots of business owners. They work with lots of people in powerful positions. They work with lots of people who are influential. Bankers, CPAs, and attorneys are fantastic for any sales professional to know because they can refer people and they understand the currency of referrals. If you want more referrals, and who doesn’t? That’s the best way to grow your business. If you want more referrals, you can invest your time in no better place than meeting with a banker, a CPA and an attorney each and every week.
Number three, I want you to create an action journal or an action log, you can call it whatever you want. Throw away your to-do list, come up with just three priorities everyday. You can remember three, it’s very easy, you can keep three things in your head. Do three things each day and I want you to create an action journal and write down each what you’ve accomplished. Do it at the end of the day, before you go to bed. You can do it at the end of the day before you leave the office. I do it in Evernote. If you’ve ever seen Evernote, it’s a program on the computer, it’s an app. You can use it on your phone. I use the date as a title and I just write down what I’ve accomplished at the end of the day.
Why do I do this? I do it because it makes me feel good about myself. When you list your accomplishments, I want you to list your accomplishments not only in the area that you work in but I want you to list accomplishments as a father, as a brother, as a sister. You play many different roles. You’re a business owner, you’re a father, a mother, a sister, or a brother. All the roles that you work in, all the roles that you have in your life, if you’ve accomplished something in that area during the course of the day, I want you to write it down. I want you to list the things that you’ve accomplished. You spent an hour and a half teaching your kid how to hit a curve ball? Write that down. That’s important. That’s probably one of the most important things you can down, spend time with someone you care about.
At the end of a week, you’ll review your action journal form each day and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve accomplished. Contrast this with keeping a to-do list and leaving the office with 50 things not checked off? You leave the office and you feel guilty when you have things on your to-do list that aren’t done. But, when you put your head on the pillow at the end of the night and you have 50 things on your list that have been accomplished, you feel fantastic.
Number four, honesty, transparency, and preparation demonstrate your ability as a professional and they will be at a premium in 2017. Honesty, transparency and preparation, why is this going to come to the forefront? If you look at what’s being talked about in the media right now, this is December, it’s the middle of December 2016, everybody’s talking about the Presidential transition and everyone’s talking about the lack of preparation. Everyone’s talking about the promises that have been made to win this election. There’s an article on the Washington Post published a couple of weeks ago. The President-elect of the United States of America has made 287 campaign promises, some of them are in direct contradiction with one another. Regardless of you political beliefs, you have to understand that that’s a problem because, obviously, if some of the promises are contradictory, they’re not going to be kept, some of them anyway.
Transparency is non-existent right now. The President-elect hasn’t had a press conference since the middle of June. His opponent didn’t have a press conference, had one press conference pretty much during her entire campaign. Transparency doesn’t exist in politics. I think that’s going to come to a head and people will place a premium on honesty, transparency and preparation because all they see in the world around them on TV is dishonesty, lack of transparency, and flying by the seat of one’s pants, proverbially.
I want you to focus your efforts on being honest, not only direct honesty, telling the truth, but I want you to be honest in what you choose to talk about versus omission. Sometimes you don’t lie because you don’t say anything but you know that by saying something you would have prevented something else from happening. That’s called an error of omission or being dishonest by omission. I want you to avoid that. I want you to be completely transparent in everything you do particularly with your clients and your employees. I want you to be prepared just like I’m preparing my jack in my car, I’m preparing for disaster with hurricanes, having fire extinguishers around, because preparation, honesty and transparency will be at a premium in 2017 and beyond. You can count on it because all you’re going to see in the media is the exact opposite. People will go out of their way to do business with folks who they believe are honest, transparent and prepared. Mark it down now and make it the cornerstone of your work in 2017.
Finally, I want you to be the voice of reason. There’s so much negativity out there. It’s so easy to pick a fight with someone these days because our country is divided. It’s so easy to pick a fight with someone because all you see on social media are people going back and forth at each other as if their lives and their income depended on the opinions they hold particularly related to politics. I don’t want you to be one of those people because people do business with people they know, like, and trust. If you’re out there picking fights with people or jumping down everyone’s throat when people don’t agree with you, no one will want to do business with you. No one.
Here’s what I want you to do. When you disagree with someone, when they say something you disagree with, I want you to say to the person, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” That’s what I want you to say. Regardless of how stupid or how ridiculous what they say is, I want you to say, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” That is you opening up and showing empathy toward the other person. You’re not saying you agree with their point of view. You’re saying that their point of view is something you want to understand. As humans, that’s what we strive for. We strive to be understood, that’s what we want.
Instead of jumping down someone’s throat, instead of getting into an argument, instead of really going nuts on someone on social media or in person, I want you to just say, “That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” Let them open up and tell you, and at that point, if you want to change the subject, you can change the subject. But what you’ve done is you’ve shown kindness, you’ve shown empathy, and you’ve shown a willingness to listen and that’s what will make people want to be around you. Do not be a part of the problem, be the voice of reason.
Let me recap for you, the five things I want you to do to get ready for 2017. Number one, you’re going to create a set of daily basics. You’re going to start with a keystone habit and create some daily habits and you’re going to stick with them for all of 2017. Number two, each week, you’re going to go out and meet a new banker, a new CPA, and a new attorney. Why? Because things are changing and these people will have the answers to the questions that are top of mind for your clients. You need to be able to help your clients in these areas when they have a problem and you help them by connecting them with a banker, a CPA, or an attorney. Your clients will appreciate it, and the banker, the CPA, the attorney will appreciate it because they’re connecting you with people to refer to you because you’re helping them.
Number three, you’re going to keep an action log or an action journal instead of doing a to-do list. Why? Because it shows how much you actually get done, it boosts your confidence, it helps your self-esteem, and it makes you focus on the positive things in your life. Number four, you’re going to act with honesty, transparency and you’re going to be prepared because the whole world around us will not be honest, it will not be transparent, and people will not be prepared. That will be the dominant focus of the news, how people are not prepared, particularly at the highest levels of government, how dishonest people are, particularly at the highest levels of government, and how opaque people have become, particularly at the highest levels of government. Your honesty, your transparency and your preparation will make you someone people want to be around.
Finally, you’re going to be the voice or reason, you’re not going to start fights, you’re going to be open and say to people who say things that are stupid or ridiculous, “Hmm, That’s interesting. What makes you feel that way?” Then you’re going to let them say whatever they need to say, you’ll be empathetic, you’ll be warm, and you’ll be welcoming, and you will be different than 90% of the population who is acting in the exact opposite way.
My friends, do not fear 2017, embrace it. It’s going to be a fantastic year for you. It’s going to be a fantastic year for all of us. With these five points, you are well-armed to march into 2017. Until next week, I’m Dave Lorenzo and I hope you, this week, every week, and into 2017, make a great living and live a great life.