If you are cheering…Good Job!

If you are crying…then do better in 2014!

However, you can only do better if you have a good plan. Without a plan, you might be crying next year, too.

You have 12 months to get it done. Put another way, you have 52 weeks to get it done. If you prefer, you have 365 days to get it done.

You have to plan: daily, weekly and monthly. Have your personnel do the same.

Have each salesperson show you his or her plan for the week. On the following Monday, check and see how much of his or her plan was actually accomplished.

When I worked as a music lesson enroller, I filled out a form to indicate the results of my sales calls.

I could only write two words next to the call: sold or missed.

If I sold it, I didn’t have to write anything. If I missed it, I would have to explain why I didn’t sell it. These were among the typical excuses: “No money,” “Moving in a month” or “Child didn’t want to play music.”

Well, my boss was an unbarred lawyer. He took the bar exam three times and failed, but he was excellent with details.

Once, I wrote, “No money.” My boss called me into his office and said, “You wrote, ‘No money’ on your miss. I went by that home and spoke to the owners. The father is a successful lawyer. They live in a $200,000 house and drive two Cadillac cars.” He asked, “How can you say ‘No Money’?”

I kiddingly responded, “That’s why they have no money!” He didn’t buy it.

Believe it or not, I made 72 sales in a row after that meeting, because I didn’t want to write “missed” for any reason.

I know that sounds hardcore. And, hey, maybe losing a sale is not that big of a deal. No…in this economy, losing a sale is a big deal.

You have to make every sale you can and realize that sales are what keep your door open.

Sales are what give you the money to pay your rent and utilities, and to be able to afford food, clothes and everything else you need to survive.

Don’t sail through life with no destination. Set goals, have a positive attitude, and realize that what you do is important and worthwhile.

I want 2014 to be your best year ever. I want you to make the most money you ever made.

I want you to realize how necessary you are to your family, to your job and to the customers who need to be shown how to buy the right thing to solve their problem!

OK…enough proselytizing! Let’s have some fun.

As some of you might have suspected, I am a trivia nut. However, trivia has served me many times when knowing it has helped me get my point across.

Here are music trivia items that I have acquired, presented for your year-end enjoyment.

“Rock ‘n’ roller Chuck Berry has a degree in cosmetology from Gibbs Beauty College.”

“Mozart never went to school.”

“Ice cream maker Tom Carvel started out as a Dixieland musician.”

“‘Dixie,’ the popular Confederate song during the Civil War, was written by Dan Emmett, a Northerner.”

“Composer Johann Sebastian Bach was quite a father…to the tune of 20 children.”

“Frankie Avalon held his nose while singing ‘De De Dinah’…his first hit song.”

“Liberace once used the stage name Walter Busterkeys.”

“Rock star Jimi Hendrix was working on the song ‘The Story of Life’ the night he died.”

“Thomas Jefferson played the fiddle.”

“Herb Alpert named his son after the first two notes on the musical scale…Dore.”

“Elvis Presley had a reading chair in his bathroom.”

“53310761 was Elvis Presley’s military dog tag number.”

Those are just a few of my music trivia items, and I have many more. I hope you found these tidbits a fun way to help close out the year.

One example of when trivia helped me get my point across was when I was traveling with a rep in California, training him in sales. I kiddingly said, “I know everything.” He said, “You might know everything about sales, but you don’t know everything.”

I said, “Yes, I know everything.” He said to me, “OK, if you answer this question correctly, then I will believe you know everything.” Then, he asked, “Who was the first Tarzan?”

How he knew that, I don’t know, because one in a million would know it. I sputtered around, pretending I didn’t know the answer, which made my student more confident that I actually didn’t know it.

I said, “Could that be Elmo Lincoln?” I thought he was going to pass out. (Elmo Lincoln was the silent film star who played Tarzan.)

“There was no way you could know that!” he exclaimed. “OK…I believe you know everything.” He never questioned what I said ever again. I have another believer.

I want you to be a believer, too. Apply the sales techniques I write about in my columns, the closes I suggest, the planning I suggest and the books I suggest you read. I want you to be the most successful salesperson you can be!

Do it for yourself, your family and your company. Most importantly, have fun doing it!

Let’s all make a lot of green in 2014!

I wish you good selling.

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