Happy New Year! The holidays, now a week in our rear-view mirror, expose one of the biggest weaknesses that salespeople have. Nearly all salespeople head into the holidays intending to get as much business closed before Christmas as possible. Did you? Good. The problem is that only the top tier of salespeople succeed at getting most of that business closed – before Christmas. The rest, good intentioned and committed as they are, tend to run into two problems. 1) They have difficult reaching prospects; and 2) they have trouble getting them closed.

Back in the 1950’s, Albert Gray, a successful sales motivator from the insurance industry said, “Why are successful men able to do things they don’t like to do while failures are not? Because successful men have a purpose strong enough to make them form the habit of doing things they don’t like to do in order to accomplish the purpose they want to accomplish.”

So while most salespeople didn’t haunt their prospects in their attempt to reach them, the top tier did. And while most salespeople took their prospects’ put-offs when they actually reached them, the top tier didn’t.

Here’s the problem. Take any prospect with a problem, with a compelling reason to buy from you, in any circumstance, and allow a week or two or three to relax, get away from all the stress, and then attempt to contact anew in January. Result? The urgency created by those compelling reasons just isn’t as strong. Do they have to take your call? Do they have to buy now? Aren’t there three times more  issues on their plate after their time off?

It might be nice that you didn’t bother them in December but your chances of closing them in January are slim. If there was one thing you could work on in 2007, would it be your closing urgency? It should be. This isn’t about techniques or strategy. It’s about your own urgency to get the business closed, once you’ve left third base and headed for home. I’ve provided you with the Inoffensive Close (Chapter on Scoring), The Rule of Triple Elimination (Chapter on Scoring) and the Rule of Ratios (Chapter on Getting to 2nd Base) to make it easy. The rest is up to you.