We’re about to enter the final quarter of the year. This is the time when salespeople evaluate their year, determine if they’re on target to goal, and what they need to do in the fourth quarter to be where they need to be. This has been a tough year for a great percentage of salespeople. Whether you were directly or indirectly affected by the financial crisis, you’re probably looking at making up some ground in the fourth quarter despite a very unstable economic outlook. There are many things that you could do to impact your fourth quarter, and a lot of them are bad things. I’ll point out twenty things that you should do:

Focus on revenue, not the economy;
Focus on new and existing business, not problems;
Be more aware of put-offs and stalls than ever before – they’re not promises;
Program yourself to be rejection proof – you’ll need it;
Program yourself to be more assertive than ever – you’ll need that too;
Force yourself to ask more questions – and not make presentations before you’ve reached 3rd base;
Force yourself to ask good, tough, timely questions;
Force yourself to thoroughly qualify all opportunities;
Force yourself to prospect;
Ask for referrals and introductions but give something in return;
Stuff your pipeline, work your opportunities and when it’s time to close, CLOSE!
At closing time, don’t give up;
Don’t get discouraged;
Don’t get frustrated;
Do get angry (only with yourself)
Do expect more of yourself;
Get to the right people;
In major accounts, find the chauffeur;
Be more disciplined than ever before;
Live up to your commitment to yourself and your company.

The first item on the list was “Focus on revenue, not the economy”. You’ll get what you pay attention to. If you pay attention to how bad things might become, you’ll get lots of bad results. If you pay attention to how well you must do, you’ll get good results. In order to support that focus, you must be passionate about it, committed to it and work the plan. There’s no magic, just the difference between those who are committed to doing what it takes right now, and those who would prefer to use the economy as an excuse. Great salespeople don’t make excuses.