‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?’ Wrong Question

A proper, pointed, precise, purposeful response can help you shorten the sales cycle.


By Jeffrey Gitomer


We focus too much on one night, and not enough on the opportunities that the next 365 days will present. Change that!

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? That is one of the most-asked questions on the planet the week before we ring in the New Year. And people (you included) will go on ad-nauseam about what their New Year’s plans are.

Then on New Year’s Day, you stumble around, watch some TV, have a party, or should I say, after-party, and grudgingly prepare for the next day, the first work day of the New Year.

During that day, everyone will talk about what they did on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The stories will range anywhere from ribald tales about Las Vegas, to the more mundane, “We just stayed at home.”

No one ever asks, “What are you planning on achieving this year?” or “How much of that weight are you going to take off this year?” or “What will you do differently in the coming year that you didn’t do in the past year?” There aren’t many questions or responses about what positive things are about to happen next.

It seems as though people are willing to spend hours talking about the superficial, and not one minute talking about the reality of their lives.

Not me. Yes, I am going to wish you a Happy New Year. Yes, I hope it’s a healthy one and a successful one. But that is just a wish.

The reality is for you to have a healthy, successful New Year, you’re going to have to work your tail off. You are going to have to do more in the coming year than you did last year. You are going to have to harness the power of your work effort and your intelligence, and do your best to turn it into money.

I know I will.

The challenge to the sales professional is to be prepared to respond to a challenge, not perplexed by what the customer is demanding and offer some weak excuse.

Reality: I have written many things about the lunacy of making New Year’s resolutions. They are not a total joke, but they are close. For all of you who may be reading this, please send me one dollar for every resolution you made
but never kept.

Heck, I’d have to send myself a few hundred.

Here are a few things you should resolve to do in the coming year that will allow you (and me) to over-succeed and over-achieve:

  1. Allocate your time in 30-minute segments. This gives you a full understanding of whether your time is being “spent” or “invested.”
  2. Take at least two of your allocated segments (one hour) and dedicate them to writing each day. Writing will clarify your thoughts, and help you find and solidify a clear (or clearer) direction.
  3. Learn to use business social media by becoming actively involved. Build your reputation AND your personal brand.
  4. Visit your top 10 customers before the month of January is over, and talk to them about why they do business with you, and what they’re looking to achieve in the coming year. Ask for (earn) business in January.
  5. Make a secret list of the big things you are looking to accomplish over the next few years, not necessarily just this year. Maybe it’s to write a book, maybe travel to certain places, or maybe to get a bigger house. Whatever it is, write it down. Somehow written things become more solid in your mind than just thoughts.
  6. Make plans to celebrate, not just achieve. I have found that celebrating an achievement confir-ms and affirms the reward in your mind. Not just “I did it,” but also, “I’m proud that I did it.” That celebration will lead you to the next.

So along comes the day after New Year’s, and you are thinking, “Why is Gitomer giving me a cold slap in the face my first day back on the job?”

Answer: Someone has to … otherwise you may wait until February or March. Further (gentle) slaps in the face will be available throughout the year in Ingram’s.

But between now, and then, and every day, I thank you for reading this collection of thoughts, and for your continued loyalty.

Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy, wealthy New Year!

About the author

Jeffrey Gitomer is author of The Little Red Book of Selling and The Little Red Book of Sales Answers.
P     | 704.333.1112
E     | salesman@gitomer.com