The 1st quarter of 2008 is almost over.

Sales kickoff meetings are done.

Quotas have all been assigned for the year (hopefully).

So how are you doing on building up your pipeline?

Are you proactively contacting lots of new prospects?

Do you have a solid system for networking and finding new leads through current and past customers and business contacts?

Do you have a system of rules in place to qualify and introduce new prospects to your business and into your pipeline?

The thing about sales is that it really is all about you.

It’s all about how you exercise your power and influence.

It’s all about how you build and manage your confidence.

It’s all about how you use your energy and your time.

And as we close in on the end of the 1st quarter of the year, not only should you have some significant business closing, but you should also have a good pipeline of deals building up for the next 3-6 mos.

And these need to be real deals.

Real deals that are good for you, ones that you have a good chance of being able to win, ones that have strong reasons to purchase from you over your competitors.

You gotta be ruthless in your profiling and qualifying.

You can’t hold onto crappy deals.

Because you rarely win the deals that don’t have an identifiable advantage for you from the start.

Prospecting is a sorting process. You want to sort out which prospects are likely to become customers as quickly as you can.

And throw out the deals that don’t fit before they become turds that you are just going to have to flush out of your pipeline anyway.

If your year is not off to a strong start, then fix it now by making decisions faster.

Create a customer profile to qualify against and a set of rules to sell by.

You’ll be able to make good decisions in the moment when talking to a potential new customer.

And by qualifying earlier and faster you can move up your sales significantly this year because you’ll be using your time on deals that you can close, instead of the crap that eventually gets flushed away.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown