10.5 Ideas to Help You Network Your Way Through the Silly Season

How to turn those holiday parties into the real gifts that keep on giving

Here are 10 things you can do over the coming months to make sure all of the holiday gatherings you attend turn into great opportunities for you in the new year.

We as sales professionals have to be absolutely on top of our game. As Steven Covey puts it in his 'Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' we have to 'Sharpen Our Saw'! So lets sharpen our email marketing skills. Let's make sure we get it right in our email campaigns to give us the best chance of sales success.

If you're bored by your PowerPoint presentations, your prospects are probably bored, too. Check out these ideas and technologies for improving your presentations and making them more compelling.

Has Sepp Blatter failed at FIFA -- or just received some timely feedback? I'd love to ask him! There's no such thing as Failure... Just results! Some results you'll like. Some results you don't like. The key thing is to learn from each of your experiences.

Do you know customers that have been in the same job since time began? Or that have the same lunch every day? Or lived in the same house for decades? In sales psychology terms we call them 'sameness' people. They simply don't like change, certainly not in the contexts mentioned. Then again you may know customers who revel in change -- at work, possibly at home, again it can depend on the context. We call these 'difference' people. There is no right or wrong -- but if you can identify these particular characteristics in your customers, increasing sales is easy! How about you?

At every point during the lead generation process, structured use of social media, dovetailing marketing and sales strategies can strengthen your approach. Online technology as well as print advertising and press can be used to create and maintain relationships with leads and prospects, so not investing time in these methods can damage your sales output. Social networks and other online media give sales reps another 'in' with prospects. With LinkedIn reaching 300 million members in 2014, most of whom will have been drawn to the site for the networking potential and sharing of media; can you afford to not have a presence?


Identifying target industries can be an intimidating task if you don't perform extensive analysis and research that gives quantifiable reasons to support and drive your lead generation process. Ask yourself whether the businesses within this industry are ones you may have worked with before, or perhaps you have researched them in the past and discounted them for reasons that are now irrelevant? Ensure you take stock of ground you may have already covered. The sales landscape is one that constantly changes and therefore your strategy to approach a variety of industries should reflect that.

Constantly assessing and retargeting your marketing and contact methods to prospective customers should be a regular occurrence in every sales environment to ensure continued lead generation. Location targeting is just one aspect of this. Although locations can be seen as restricting, particularly to smaller businesses, current deals should be mapped out and analysed. If you feel your market is saturated in certain areas, taking a step back can reveal uncovered ground.

Sales organizations are built on rules: both internal rules and adherence to their customers' rules. Obeying these rules is good -- and has made many companies successful over the years. But when is it right to bend, or break, the rules?