Good Tips on How to Rebound from a Bad Year

BY Kathy Crosett
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Last year turned out to be better economically than many of us expected. If you didn’t have a stellar outcome in 2017, don't despair. With some advice from Colin Nanka, you can make your numbers in 2018.

Sales reps aren’t going to close every deal. In fact, some big deals fail to materialize just when you think they are a sure bet. It’s how you respond to these disappointing outcomes that matters. Accept that you failed in a specific circumstance. Accept that you will sometimes fail in the future. But don't take on the mindset of believing you're a failure.

After each failed deal, step back, review what happened, and think about what you could have done differently. In some cases, you may realize that the prospect wasn’t as qualified as you thought. If you rushed the prospect through the funnel, you may have missed warning signs that they weren’t ready to buy. If you did this too often last year, it's easy to see how you could have missed your numbers.

The start of the year is also a good time to do a skills inventory. Is there an area you can improve on that will help you increase deal flow? Do you need to take the time to learn that CRM system once and for all, so you can efficiently track where you are with prospects? Should you do more training on exactly how your service works in order to be more prepared for those tough prospect questions?

If you’re truly committed to having a better year in 2018, follow Nanka’s advice and seek accountability. Set up regular check-​ins with your manager or a trusted colleague. Talk about how you plan to approach difficult prospects or set specific goals on a regular basis. Make sure to review progress, too, and shift course when it’s necessary.

Being diligent, patient, and willing to learn from your mistakes will take you to new highs this year.