The Final Charge of 2011
This time of year is a wild card. Holidays are closing in, the fiscal year is winding down and decision makers start to disappear into Year End and Kick off meetings. Walk into any bullpen and you will see a number of things happening:
- Some people have pulled all their triggers and are using the next few weeks to ramp up and get a head start on 2012.
- Some people are mentally checked out and spend their days doing last minute on-line shopping and making 'Elf Yourself' videos.
- And then there are some people who are working diligently, trying to wrap up their year and close some last minute deals to hit their 2011 number.
Something about these last few weeks of the year has people thinking: "Why try?! Its over." However, it is far from over – you just have to focus on what is urgent and what can close in the next 2 weeks.
An old colleague of mine has a saying, "I don't want to wish on 20 deals that I hope I can close. Instead, I would rather work on 2 deals that I know I can close." That saying rings especially true this time of year – don't work on every deal in your team's pipeline. Keep tabs on all of it, but only focus your time on the couple of deals that you and your team have a chance of closing in the next few weeks.
If you are managing a team, how do you motivate them? How do you maintain focus for the final weeks of the year?
Do you hold a spiff contest to keep the team on track? Do you write all of the hot accounts on the white board? Do you talk about what will close this year in the team meetings?
Any number of these will help gain the team's attention and get them thinking in terms of "what can I close this year." Anyway you approach it, get focused and keep running hard. It is more likely than not that your competition is already checked out and won't recognize that they lost a deal to you until after the New Year.
Focus is key to closing the year on a high note. It is important to be smart with your time and don't get distracted. In 2012, you will never look back on 2011 and regret having a strong finish to the year…good luck and Happy Holidays.