As we fast approach the end of the first quarter of 2009, I can tell you I’m behind on at least one of the resolutions I made this year.  Not to worry though.  I have a  strategy to painlessly get back on track.

With respect to the resolutions I make, do you know the difference between January 1st and any other day of the year? Nothing more than I’ve drawn a line in the sand, which frankly, I can do on any day.

The sales and marketing resolutions I make, and sometimes keep, are significant not because of the day I choose to commence, but because I resolve again and again, week after week, to stay attuned to them.

Consequently, my resolutions aren’t to the outcomes, per se, but rather to a measurable process of attention in every moment of choice.  Incremental measurement, therefore, is something I find to be of enormous value, especially in the face of sales or marketing failures.

“I’m not getting any callbacks.”

“Nobody is responding to my advertisement or messages.”

“My direct mail or e-mails campaign didn’t work.”

“My referrals have dried up.”

“When I get someone on the phone I can’t seem to close the sale.”

If you have failed in your resolutions or your actions are not generating the results you desire  ask yourself two questions:

1.  If you back away to examine your trend line over the last several days, or weeks, or months,
does it trend up or down?  If you are trending upward – congratulations. Don’t fixate on your micro failures or setbacks.  Use them as a point of departure for tomorrows’ work, not today’s self flagellation.

If you are trending downward – good news: you can start again, today, right now, not on January 1 or your birthday, or anniversary, or some other magical date.

2)  If you’ve missed the mark yet resolve anew to honor the sales and marketing commitments you made on January 1, can you dissect your resolution into its component parts, then scrutinize each piece?

For example, a client recently told me, “Cold calling never really works for me so I don’t do it much even though I know I should.”

Three simple questions from me revealed that not only was his technique wrong, but so were his expectations.

Thus, it was scrutiny of his technique that reveled where, precisely, he should focus his future efforts.  He didn’t, therefore, resolve to simply make more calls, (something he knew he needed to do), but rather polish each of the four components required to make effective cold calls.

As you consider closing more sales, making more money, and worrying less, I wish for you a yardstick marked with millimeters, and the space to lay it on top of your calendar day after day, hour after hour for the remainder of the 525,600 minutes of the year

Be well.