The irony of December

We are in the final stretch of the wine sales year, the last two weeks of December.

Christmas music is playing. Your restaurants have gift card promotions galore going on (and I assume you’re buying one, right? You’re going to eat there anyway, might as well write of the purchase on this year’s expenses while getting something in the end for free … it’s a no-brainer). The wine retailers are fully stocked for the rush of the next week, with piles of suddenly affordable big brand name Champagne all over the place.

Your accounts are so busy that they don’t have time to see you, hear from you, listen to a sales pitch, or do anything other than the work at hand.

So ironically, wine sales reps sell more wine at this point than the rest of the year, but with greater efficiency and in some ways, less work.

What if it could be kinda like this all year long?

Of course the high velocity is seasonal, so you can’t necessarily duplicate that. But I’m talking about the efficiency.

Start to brainstorm a slight shift in attitude for the new year:

Building business, not chasing business.

Outlined and planned meetings, not just “shooting the shit” for an hour at an account.

Seeking opportunity instead of happening upon it.

Owning your time instead of the work controlling it.

Selling yourself first and what YOU bring to the table, and building the so-called “soft skills” that will make you better and better at what you do. (Note: ‘soft skills’ is one of the most cancerous terms in the business world. Seth Godin nails it: “let’s uncomfortably call them real skills instead.”)

Setting goals per account that aggregate to a personal goal every quarter, which aggregates to a goal to achieve for the year. 

In other words, building efficiency into your job so you can grow in all the right ways while not getting overwhelmed by distractions and dead ends.

Don’t lose sight of the irony that December brings.

Why can’t you work like this in April or August? Hint: you can.

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