Orders for the next ten years. Get ready. Get ahead.

Orders for the next ten years. Get ready. Get ahead.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.

Orders for the next ten years. Get ready. Get ahead.

March 23, 1992. Ten years ago I wrote my first column. I just reread it. It stunk. In fact, it espoused philosophies that I have altered or done away with. I read a few more. Surprisingly I still agree with most of what I wrote. But the quality of writing left a bit to be desired (I’m being kind to myself).

The good news is, I have developed the self discipline over the last ten years that has forced me to create new ideas, new thoughts, and new strategies to help you sell better, serve better, be better and earn better.

And they have helped me too.

The other day someone asked me how I do it. I responded, “I don’t write an article, I just collect ideas. I keep my eyes open, I pay attention to all that is around me, I keep my attitude permanently set on YES. And I write things down as fast as I see them.” Do I ever get writer’s block? Well, for the first ten years, no. Reason? I just told you, I don’t write, I collect ideas.

But, you don’t care about me. You want to know what’s in this column for you. Since this is the beginning of my second decade, I thought it would be fitting if I gave you a glimpse of what I believe lies ahead of you.

This column will not be about how to make sales now, rather, it will be about how to make sales forever. They are a collection of my best ideas and concepts for sales superiority. And they work. At least they work for me.

I recommend that you read it twice and then save it in whatever space you have where your goals are made and your game plans are delineated. Every one of these trends, I believe to be essential to make you the salesperson that you have to be in order to earn what you hope to earn. What you DESERVE to earn.

I recommend that as you read these trends, that you rate yourself by jotting a number from one to ten next to each item, so that you rate yourself as to where you are in the mastery of each trend. I further recommend that you not be kind to yourself in your own self judgment, remember I’m talking about mastery, not simply doing.

Okay, here they are. 12.5 trends to make you the leader:

1. Wireless everything you can as soon as you can. From telephone to e-mail to internet access, your ability to receive and send information is no longer ,”I’ll wait till I get back to my office” valid. In the time that it takes you to get from where you are to get back to the office and retrieve your messages or emails, your competition may already have the order and be in the process of delivering it. ACTION: Look at every communication device you have and determine how to increase the wireless capability of it. Ignore cost, it’s an investment.

2. Speed of Response. Your co-workers, your customers, your prospects, your spouse, and your children expect an immediate answer. Anyone who calls you and needs your help expects that you will call them back within a moment or two. And I’m not just talking about 9-5. I’m talking about 24.7.365. Have a way to be accessible at all times, or you will lose to someone who is. ACTION: Ask yourself what would happen if someone called you five minutes before work starts, and wanted to place an order for $100,000. After you stop choking and swearing, fix it.

3. Be ready for business all the time. This means accessibility before, during and after business hours. Beyond the minimum personal requirements, your internet access must serve your customers in every way that they may need help. Not just an order, but scheduling an appointment, requesting service, checking status, and any other answers they may need. ACTION: List the 25 reasons why customers call you, and determine when these requests can be answered. Your goal will be to get every customer need addressable 24.7.365.

4. Answer live. Press one if you know your account number, press two if you know the extension of the person your are dialing, press three if you want to kill the person who invented press one and press two. Everyone will press three. “Everyone” includes all of your customers. If you have automated attendant, or what is known euphemistically as CRM, your best bet is to rip it out of the wall and start over with the word “hello.” “Your call is important to us” makes me puke when I hear that. The amount of money that you lose because of frustrated customers, poor word of mouth advertising, lost loyalty, and lost business far exceeds the amount of money that it will cost you in human kindness. I guarantee you that if your competition all of a sudden goes back to live human being, you will be cursing them. Why not make them curse you? ACTION: Call you own number once a week and be your own customer. Do this until you are so frustrated that you hate yourself, then maybe you’ll change.

That’s it? Four lousy trends? Nope. There’s lots more, but the trend of 750 words per column has yet to change. The rest are next week… meanwhile I have given you a few things to chew on — and act on.

Thank you for your readership. I appreciate your support. And I appreciate what you, and the publication you are reading have done for me. You have helped me build a career beyond my dreams.

Free GitBit…Want to read my first column? It’s written about what you say when the customer says I want to think it over. Sure you do. Just go to www.Gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word FIRST in the GitBit box.