The two weeks of the Holiday Season leading up to the New Year are a time of reflection for many of us, although it sometimes doesn’t seem like it. We are lining up our road maps for 2012: identifying the referral network for our prospecting (because we’ve finally learned that cold calling and churning and burning through leads lists doesn’t work). We are trying to get projects completed and invoiced by the end of the year to insure cash flow. We are deciding whether the roads we travel on are leading us somewhere productive and relevant, let alone profitable.
It can become chaotic and overwhelming. Unless you take a step back to gain a greater perspective of what’s going on. And keep stepping back until you get a 10,000 foot eagle’s eye view of the situation.
What roads will we travel on, together, in 2012? We’ve certainly traversed some interesting technical and non-technical geography in 2011.
As I tee up for 2012 blogging about some great topics, including customer experience, sales and the technical professional, liberating yourself from your professional status-quo, and some tools for smarter selling, I’ve revisited the roads we’ve traveled on, together, this year.
It’s because of our collaborative dialogues, your feedback, and the professional inspiration you’ve given me that I have a book coming out in February! I’ve made some major pivots in the direction of my business this year as well. I am a life-long learner. And I learn from the folks I work with as well as work for. I am always expanding my sandbox, and this year was no exception.
In mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs (both start-ups and and mid-level funding companies), I have the same dialogue I’ve always had when working with manufacturers and engineering-intensive service companies. The venture capital venue provides some very provocative discussions with companies who recognize it’s time to move beyond “the way we’ve always done things” towards “the way we need to do things.” And since they are already “there,” these businesses are open to dialogue and collaboration. Which are very gratifying discussions to have since so many companies are resistant to moving one millimeter outside of their status-quo comfort levels.
When you get some down time this week or next, or even for a quick momentum-boost, take a look at these blog posts which your colleagues found the most intriguing and provocative in 2011.
Your Best Sales Partner May Be An Engineer
Think You Have All The Answers? Did You Ask The Right Questions?
Being Relevant To Your Customers
Do YOU Mean Business?
Are You Chasing Around Customers and Prospects Who Are In Crisis Mode?
Lessons Learned from Spinner Dolphins
Did You Write Your Own Instruction Manual?
So Has It Turned Out The Way You Thought It Would?
Are You Drinking Your Own Kool-Aid?
The Power of Your Personal Brand in Space-Time
Understanding Why You Work for Other People
Your Financial Plan is Your Business Pulse
Take a read and let me know what you think, as you move forward into the new business year. These posts range from business planning to career development to website design to core personal values. There’s a lot of good food for thought.
Thank you for your readership this year.
Most importantly, thank you for your collective and collaborative inspiration. Looking forward to continuing our dialogue!
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2013-2016. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools available on Amazon.