What is your end-of-year project?

I’m writing this in mid-December, which is unlike any other time of the year in the beverage sales cycle.

Retailers and restaurants are too busy for long meetings with their sales reps. Their focus, as it should be, is the customer walking through the door. (Reactive, not proactive, work.)

The sales reps are busy getting orders in and running will calls, doing in-store tastings, and doing many things other than selling. (Again, reactive, not proactive, work.)

Wholesalers are too busy to invite winery reps into town. There is no point in a ride-with during December (or November, for that matter).

Everyone is busy, yet everyone finds odd pockets of time on their hands during the day. It’s unlike any other week in the beverage sales cycle.

So all of this begs the question: what is your project for right now, the end of the year? Can you fit a project into those odd pockets of downtime? No matter your role in the sales cycle, we all know that once the calendar turns over, it’s game on. How can the next year be better?

Here are some ideas for projects. Every single one can be started today.

  • Write a handwritten thank you note to all of your core customers. And don’t just say “thank you,” but get more granular and genuine. Mail them all on December 31st.
  • Do a thoughtful and honest analysis of your top five or ten customers. What went well this past year? What needs to improve for the coming year?
  • Buy and read a great marketing, sales, or work-life balance book. Here are some ideas (non-affiliate): 1, 2, 3 (a classic, and particularly good in audio format).
  • If you had to summarize your goals for the New Year in four sentences, what would they be? Is it simply more money, or are you seeking things beyond money (more balance, more joy, more health)?
  • If there are five things you want LESS of in the New Year, what would they be? Fewer sales meetings? Less email? Fewer quotas? Less pressure in general? How can you shape the upcoming year to move toward those goals?
  • Look back on the previous year month-by-month and get granular with your sales forecast. Where did you miss opportunities? Who are the customers with the best combination of potential and meshing with your personal sales goals?

For salespeople, whether working for wholesalers, importers, or wineries/distilleries/breweries, the next two weeks allow you time to map out the fifty-two after that.

Take advantage of the moment.

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