How to Screw Up in 2009

January 23, 2009 at 8:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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You’re bound to read plenty of articles about how to succeed this year. Some undoubtedly have great tips, but just as many have uninspired, absurdly upbeat ideas that you’ve read a hundred other times. So, I thought I’d mix it up a little with a primer on how to shoot yourself in the foot, create your own problems, and just plain screw up this year.

No, I don’t want you to follow my advice, but these not so gentle reminders will help you avoid some of the most common ways that so many of us fail. Enjoy!

Cower in Fear
With the overwhelmingly bad economic news we’ve all been subjected to over the last several months, it’s natural to feel uncertain about where business is headed. This inevitably leads to fear and backing off from investing in the very things that generate business. One of the quickest ways to screw up is to cease your marketing, networking and public relations efforts. If you start retreating, your competition will be more than willing to fill your vacancy.

Don’t Exceed Your Clients’ Expectations
Sure, you’re already bummed out about business being slow. So, don’t exert any extra energy to go above and beyond what your clients expect from you. Trust me, if you only do the bare minimum, they’ll reward you with no more future work and plenty of free time for whining and complaining.

Don’t Mine the Gold in Your Existing Client Base
Want an especially fast and easy way to screw up this year? Keep hitting your head against the wall going after those expensive, impossible-to-get, cold leads, and avoid the warm, cost-efficient existing clients to whom you can cross-sell. Sure, your current contacts might very well appreciate and need what you might have to offer, but it’s so much more fun putting the effort in with those chilly individuals who will never buy from you.

Stay Focused On What You Can Get, As Opposed to What You Can Give
It’s all about you, you, you – right? When it comes to networking, just keep thinking about what you can get out of each one of your contacts. Don’t bother to be helpful or useful. Selfishness is the name of the game when it comes to pointless networking in 2009.

Develop a Reputation for Irrelevance and Inefficiency
Like it or not, each one of us is an individual brand. Some have quality brands that clients appreciate and buy from, and others of us are more known as the cheap knock-offs that should be avoided. To avoid success this year, work extra hard on letting your good name fall apart in your clients’ and prospects’ eyes. Try making some promises that you can’t keep, never follow through on what you say you’re going to do, and maintain a bad attitude at all times.

There are countless ways to royally screw up this year. Yet, there are just as many opportunities for great success. Stay positive, motivated, and helpful to others; and you’ll find that this year will be both productive and fruitful.



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  1. Spot on advice Adrian! I’ll be linking to this article on my blog – I’m sure my readers will benefit 🙂


  2. […] screw up In the spirit of resolutions, goals, and planning for the year ahead, fellow sales coach Adrian Miller posted this article on her blog recently. In it she shows how to ’shoot yourself in the foot, […]

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