In this first week of 2017, most ofus are thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions and what we can change in the new year to make ourselves better. The usual list of suspects includes a promise to get into the gym more, quitting smoking, losing weight, spending more time with family and friends, getting out of debt, and getting organized. But what about your professional resolutions? Have you determined what commitments you plan to make to achieve your professional aspirations for 2017?
If you are still searching for what that resolution may look like, consider the following as potential options:
1. Quarterly needs analysis meetings.
The one constant is change, and your client's business is no different. A client who told you they had no interest in digital marketing a year ago may be a lot more open to it today. Meeting with them once a quarter with the goal of determining what is different and what is the same in their business will help you become a better consultant. Even clients that you have been working with for years will have changes in their processes, personnel and goals. It is rare that an unassisted client will fill you in on everything that is new with their business—chances are if you are not asking, they are not telling.
2. Include digital in every conversation.
Go beyond asking, "What are you doing online?" Or "What are you doing for digital?" The term digital means something different to everyone. If they say I am doing digital, that could mean display advertising, pay-per-click, search engine optimization, mobile, online video, directory listings, social media… the list goes on and on. Chances are, if you are just asking a simple question and not digging deeper, you will miss an opportunity.
3. Maximize social networking sites.
Use social networking sites as an extension of your Personal Marketing Resume. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others all have their own benefits. You can use them all—or components of each— to push your professional brand, your accomplishments, client recommendations or to position yourself as a thought leader by starting conversations or sharing stories of interest with your clients. They are all networking sites, so use them that way… whether it be a formal introduction, visiting their profile to learn more about their interests and responsibilities or finding people within an organization and learning if you have a secondary connection that you can use to your advantage.
Finding ways to continually make you better in a competitive sales environment is essential. If you are ahead of the New Year and have already determined what commitments you will be making to achieve your goals in 2017, I would love to hear them.