ATD Blog

Sales Moves by Jeffrey Gitomer: What happened last year? And whats the goal for next year?

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Its interesting to me that at the end of the year, people are always interested in your biggest success, or your biggest failure, in the year thats ending.

They also want to know what you have resolved to do new and better next year.

Everyone wants you to write down your goals, your plans, your dreams, or, in the short term, your New Years resolutions.

All of the above is a bunch of hooey UNLESS you have a better understanding of the big picture, or, should I say, your big picture.

Everything you did this year had one of five things occur at the end:

1. Great outcome went way better than planned, and you won.

2. Good outcome went as planned.

3. No outcome still pending, or dropped.

4. Bad outcome went wrong, or lost it.

5. Real bad outcome went way wrong, and died.

And all of those five outcomes carried with them lessons. Lessons of why and how the lessons you learned before, during, and after you took on any task, made any goal, or took any actions.

And it is those lessons that are the focus of this writing.


Its also interesting to note that almost nothing you read or are taught focuses on these lessons. When in fact, they were, and are, the most valuable part of the achievement process.

The combined lessons youve learned up to this point in your life represent what is loosely known as your experience. I refer to it as your personal body of knowledge and your personal wealth of knowledge.

Some of that knowledge is very useful. Sales made, sales lost, goals achieved, goals unmet, relationships that succeeded, relationships that failed, all of your emotional encounters, and all of your economic transactions. To each one of those elements big and small, there is tied a lesson that you hold on to for next time. And those lessons will trigger a response in your mind the next time you encounter the same or a similar situation. It will trigger a response like: do this, or dont do this, or have other people help me do this. And theres also the desire factor: I want to do this, or I dont want to do this.

And there are the non-achievement actions that you took and the lessons that you learned (or didnt learn) like: watching television, keeping up with politics, watching the evening news, and other expenditures of time that you would be hard pressed to cite one lesson from the hundreds of hours you wasted.

Non-achievement is a lesson all by itself.

Achievement and non-achievement are just a small part of the learning process. Its not as important to know that you achieved the goal or made the sale rather HOW you achieved it, and the knowledge you gained that will get you to the next achievement.

Its not simply the lesson that you learned. Rather, it is the lesson learned combined with your response with that lesson

What outcome were you expecting?

What outcome did you get?


What did you learn as a result of that?

What did you do about it?

What are you going to do about it next time?

Heavy, huh?

If you achieved something, that is called an event. When you learn a lesson from that achievement, thats called knowledge. And it is that knowledge that will carry you forward in life.

Its okay to celebrate achievement and revel in victory, but thats just a reflection of where you are at this moment. The wisdom you gained and the associated lessons learned are what will get you to tomorrow.

Focus on that as you leap into next year.

Happy, healthy, wealthy New Year!

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally: [email protected]

2011 All Rights Reserved Dont even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer . 704/333-1112

About the Author

Mike was ASTD’s Sales Enablement Community of Practice Manager. In this role he oversaw the development of resources, content, and solutions that help sales organizations become world-class. Prior to joining ASTD, Mike enjoyed a successful 15 year sales career with roles such as sales manager, sales operations director, and sales effectiveness program manager. Mike has coached and mentored many sales professionals, and developed and implemented industry leading sales improvement initiatives. Mike received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Shenandoah University where he graduated with honors. Formerly the president of Shenandoah’s Business Alumni Club, Mike currently serves as 2nd VP on their Alumni Board of Directors.

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