Why You Don’t Want To Finish First This Year

by Johnny Bravo · 0 comments

Why You Don't Want To Finish First This YearThe professional sales race is rarely about finishing first. In fact it’s more often about finishing last because the rep that has the last deal come in also had the most amount of time to know exactly what was needed to be at the top of the leaderboard.

And they know that sales leadership will always look at the first sale of the year and ask only one question.

“Why didn’t that deal close last year?”

If you were like me, it was a bit of crunch time leading to Dec. 31st.

The last day of the year often means you are reaching out to clients and prospects to see if there is ANYTHING you can do to help them sign on the dotted line before they ring in the New Year.

It’s a last ditch effort to get as close as possible, or better yet past, your annual quota.

No matter how small the deal, it is still something you want applied this year number instead of being pushed to next. President’s Club is within your grasp, you just need a contract or two to be ink’d and you’re good to go.

To me, this is common sense. To many sales leaders, this is business as usual. But to some new to the sales profession it is a foreign concept.

They mistakenly think that it is better to close a deal first in a cycle then last. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s also a lazy approach to sales.

They would rather lay off the pressure and let the deal come in when it does instead of spending the extra effort needed to get it done now.

This is flawed thinking for three very simple reasons. It’s not what leadership wants, it doesn’t help you, and it distracts from the ultimate goal.

It’s Not What Leadership Wants

Your boss, and his boss, and her boss (etc.) all want one thing. To hit THIS YEAR’S sales goals. To add as much revenue as possible THIS YEAR.

They don’t care who makes the sale. They don’t care who the sale is made to. They care that the sale is made as soon as possible.

To them a sale next year is something to think about next year, not in the days leading up to New Years Eve.

[yellowbox]Sales leaders are focused and driven toward what matters today…this year…this goal! ~ Tweet This![/yellowbox]

Their priorities are geared towards the numbers they put on the board for this year, not next. That is way to far ahead to start counting.

It Doesn’t Help You

When I first started in quota driven sales I figured that if I wasn’t going to make my goal this month, quarter, or year, why not hold the sale off until next cycle so that I have a better chance of making that?

Maybe I even thought that there would be some sort of prestige for being the first sales rep to close a sale in the new cycle (month, quarter, year).

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sales leadership doesn’t see the world like that. They see who brought in the most deals at the eleventh hour.

They cherish the salesperson who, in between holiday meals, had the stamina to keep momentum going and close the deal. The rep who is a sales person to the core and is only focused on going to the bank.

Imagine it this way. How would you respond if a doctor told you that you have a terminal illness which is treatable but wouldn’t kill you for another 2 years. Would you want that doctor to wait a year to perform the treatment to cure you? No absolutely not. You’d want it that very same day if possible.

Sales is the same way. Yes the deal will probably still come in next month, but why would you want to wait? Why not do everything in your power to get he deal signed today?

It Distracts From The Goal

In black and white, a for profit business’s main goal is to grow revenue, profits, and do so at an exponential pace.

This means that the earlier they get revenue in they can start allocating it towards those mission critical initiatives that will help maintain those goals.

A business and it’s leaders want agreed-to-revenues that can be planned on and budgeted for. This is the ultimate goal. Making money for the company so that you too can go to the bank.

~ Johnny Bravo

Image courtesy of sippakorn /


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