Are you heeding or ignoring the warning signs?

As Hurricane Matthew approached there were dire warnings and predictions about the storm's pending devastation. Even so, many took the chance and rode the storm out which made me think of several parallels with sales. It's time to replace the batteries in your flashlight and take a closer look What preparations do you need to put into place to ensure a strong finish for 2016 and healthy start to 2017? Get your team together and figure this out. There's still a short window of time to get out of harm's way in 2016 Ensure that you have the most accurate projection possible. Find out what you can do to help the team to close their remaining pending business. Have them share lessons they learned from lost opportunities and reach out to those clients to re-engage or discuss how to strengthen your relationship going forward. Heed these early warning signs that trouble is on the way 1) when sellers say : 'I knew this was going to be a down year'; 'my clients like it that I don't bug them'; 'they haven't gotten back to me yet'; 'we are priced too high and need to re-quote'; 'that's my largest account so, yes, it takes most of my time'. 2) when clients say: 'I love working with Joe'; 'Bill always gets me exactly what I need when I need it'; 'you guys always make us feel like we're your only client'. 3) when managers: make excuses; quickly jump to the defense of their teams; spend the majority of their time on reports and spreadsheets; rarely meet with clients or conduct in-field coaching with sellers. All of the above are indicators that your team is losing focus of what's really important. Every day sellers need to either connect with a new contact; qualify an opportunity; bring a deal to close; or, strengthen an existing relationship. Be alert. Sticking with the status quo might be okay for a while, but it typically backfires in the long run. Make any necessary adjustments sooner rather than later. Your business' future health depends on it.

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