This is the 20th anniversary of my first column. Sales Moves first appeared in the Charlotte Business Journal on March 23, 1992. The column was an instant success. It soon found its way to Dallas, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, and a bunch of other cities. My column has appeared in more than 250 publications.
Mark Ethridge, then-publisher of the Charlotte Business Journal, novelist, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist, and my good friend and supporter, said that publishing Sales Moves was his most impactful marketing decision of 1992.
It was the turning point in my career.
As a result of the column’s publication, people began to call from all over the country, and still do every day. Newspapers called wanting to publish the column. Readers called to thank me for helping them make sales. I found out that salespeople were hanging my weekly article on the wall in their offices. They were copying the column and passing it around. They were mailing it to friends and co-workers in other cities. They were using the column to lead sales meetings.
All of that occurred before the Internet. Times, and publishing strategies, have changed. Drastically. So have lots of sales strategies.
Think about the early days of URL registration. What kind of fortune could you have made if you had jumped on it. Did you? Many people waited. Too long. How long did you wait? I was astute enough to get my family name, “Gitomer.com” You?
If you’re old enough to have been in the working world 20 years ago, you have seen many evolutions: cellphone, computer, laptop, software, Internet, email, wireless connection, the rise and fall of CompuServe and AOL, car phones (remember them?) and the rise of China to name a few.
The list below is not a “to do” list. It’s a “to understand” first and to make a (flexible) plan of action second list. To take consistent, deliberate actions to create your own success. These are imperatives for “the now” and the near future. Imperatives are not optional.
Here are the imperatives of success for 2012 – and the next 20 years:
1. THINK. Set aside time to understand and see the big picture, and how you fit into it. Alongside of your “to do” list, create a longer list of “to become.” That’s where thinking comes from. KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: Document as you think. Don’t let thoughts and ideas escape. Ever.