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You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in sales who has had a banner year in 2009. For almost everyone, it just downright sucked.

The good news is that we’re counting down the last days before a new decade, and it’s time to think ahead and regain the positivity that keeps us salespeople pumped up and energetic. What do you need to do now to ready yourself for 2010? Here are the top five items for your “to do” list to give you a jumpstart so that the new year and new decade don’t suck.

Have a Strategy Ready to Go on January 1st
Every successful salesperson needs a marketing and business development strategy. It doesn’t have to be a complicated document filled with charts and graphs. But, you do need a well-thought out plan of action that you’re going to implement. Work on it now, and get ready to use it the minute the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day.

Reconnect with Dormant Accounts
You may have been shot down repeatedly in 2009 by existing clients who just had no business to give you. Don’t let them discourage you. Reconnect and find out where they are now with their businesses. Some may still not need what you’re offering, but some might. And, by staying on their radar, you’ll be on their mind when they are ready to purchase again.

Network More Strategically
With business screeching to a halt over the course of this extended recession, many of us ramped up our networking efforts to varying degrees of success to seek out new contacts and business opportunities. Yes, there are more networking options than ever, but that doesn’t mean that we have to take advantage of all of them. Use your time wisely and only focus on those that offer real value. Stay focused on only the networking events and groups that attract the individuals who you’re trying to connect with.

Think Out of The Box
Now, more than ever, creative, innovative thinking has become the ticket to success. Those who are willing to experiment with different approaches and take the initiative to succeed will be rewarded with new business. Those who are simply resting on their laurels may find 2010 to be just as challenging as this past year. Find ways to add value to everything you do for your clients. Undoubtedly, salespeople who go the extra mile right now and impress those that they’re selling to will find that business is there for the taking.

Embrace Social Media
No more negative comments about social media. While you’re making fun of your competitor who is tweeting, blogging, or connecting with industry contacts on LinkedIn, they’re taking business away from you. Social networking sites, for the most part, are extremely user-friendly. So, there isn’t any excuse for you not to get on board. Why not get your name and your expertise out there in the new year? You’ll soon be on the bandwagon and making new sales and contacts in ways that you never thought possible.

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