I want you to imagine something for a minute.

Imagine for a minute that you had done some things differently this past year.

Imagine that you had done more prospecting.

You wrote letters. You sent out emails. Heck, you even called people on the phone.

You never got rejected though.

You didn’t get rejected, because you weren’t calling to sell. Or to close.

You were calling to qualify, to probe, to find out if first there was any opportunity at all to start selling to

How would things have been different for you?

Would you have felt more in control?

Would you have had more prospects?

Would you have had better prospects, better deals in your pipeline?

Would you have thrown away some deals?

Would you have thrown away even one deal that you spent a lot of time on and then lost this year?

How would your sales numbers be different?

Would you have made quota?

Would you making the higher commission rates now that only the guys who exceed quota make?

Would you be confident about how much you expect to sell again next year?

If you’re feeling some discomfort write now, I’ve been there before you.

I spent too many years in sales, doing the urgent things, working the leads that were came unsolicited by me.

And when I stayed busy like that, not stopping to rethink whether I was making the highest and best use of my time, I got some pretty mediocre sales results.

Mediocre, and a couple of times I even got fired. Ooohhh, they were nice and euphemistically told me I was being “layed off”.

But no matter what label they used, I wasn’t making money with them anymore.

Possibly the greatest and worst thing about selling is the freedom you have to decide what to do with your time.

It’s great cause you can sell when you want, and goof off when you want (the golf course and the ski slopes are two of my favorite places to “not work” at).

But if you want to continue and get the most out of your freedom, you have to make the highest and best use of your time.

And just taking the leads that come to you, and selling the bejeezus out of them generally doesn’t work.

It’s pretty much a formula for working long hours and only closing a fraction of your deals.

I know, I’ve been there.

2008 is coming to a close in 3 weeks.

What are you going to do differently in 2009?

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown

P.S. Don’t wake up at the end of NEXT year wondering how 2009 could’ve been. Get your copy of the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program now and start selling right.