The past year has been anything but predictable, and the new one promises to be just as turbulent. But setting goals can make all the difference between a productive year and a chaotic one. It’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on the ups and downs of the previous year, and also to make a plan for moving forward.
You may already have some personal New Year’s resolutions in mind for 2022, but why not include some professional ones, as well? Here are our ideas for the top resolutions to make for 2022.
Update your look
Stay-at-home orders and social distancing may leave you feeling a little sluggish and idle, but the outward-facing appearance of your business can’t sit stagnant at this time.
If anything, your digital presence — whether that involves your website, your logo, your presentation slides, your social media, your email signature — is going to be the first impression many people have of you this coming year. You want to be sure that’s a good one.
In 2022, resolve to take a closer look at:
- Your website. While it’s true that not every website needs every bell and whistle imaginable, you also don’t want potential clients to think you’re stuck in 2011. Start by making sure your business site is clean, professional, up to date and easy to navigate, and if it’s not, resolve to fix it in 2022.
- Your emails. Make sure any email signatures and avatars are up to date and truly represent you and your business. Brush up on email etiquette (we especially like the 10 golden rules of work email), and be sure your business is following up promptly and politely, even with leads that don’t seem imminently exciting.
- Your presentations and virtual booths. To improve your appearance, also think about how to create better presentations for clients. Consider creating tailored presentations for each client to add a more personalized touch to the health insurance quoting process. Content is important, but looks matter, too! Make sure your presentation slides have a sleek, engaging, unified and professional look, as do any virtual booths for big events.
- Your social media. With social media, aim for quality not quantity to attract more user engagement. Be creative and conversational. If you’re at a loss for what will interest people, think of the type of content you most enjoy reading and start from there. Make sure your various profile pages are up to date and that they represent you and your business well.
Seek safe ways to step out of the silo
Whether with clients, potential clients or employees, your face-to-face interactions with others likely had to drop to almost nil in 2020 and 2021. But once these meetings were no longer possible, you probably also began to realize how important these interactions could be. Sales is a tough job that constantly requires re-direction and realignment, and these often take shape through personal interaction.
Consider some safe ways to step briefly out of your digital silo in 2022. Consider planning a small outdoor coffee klatch in a spot where everyone feels safe and comfortable. If you have a longtime client in your area, consider planning a walking meeting in a local park to catch up with your contact. Deployed with the utmost care, a few ”safety first” interpersonal interactions could help make a difference in 2022.
After a long day in front of the screen, it’s tempting to relax by, well, staying in front of the screen, either surfing the internet or diving in to the latest bingeable TV series. But reading a book every now and then can truly help you relax. And the right book could even help with your sales.
If you feel you don’t have time to read, you can always find good titles at sites like Audible.com. The books download to your smartphone, and you can learn more about insurance sales and marketing while you drive, exercise or do yardwork.
Don’t be afraid to follow your own interests and read to fill the gaps in your own knowledge.
To get you started in 2022, consider picking up these new titles:
- The Qualified Sales Leader: Proven Lessons from a Five Time CRO by John McMahon. McMahon’s book focuses on tech rather than insurance, but Qualified Sales Leader still offers a useful trail map for sales leadership across the spectrum. It features lessons, such as about selling value rather than features and using plain language, that can easily be applied for success in the insurance realm.
- Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Dr. Brené Brown. While not really a book about sales at all, bestselling author Dr. Brené Brown’s book, an Amazon Best of December 2021, does offer useful insights and perspectives on the nature of human behavior and connection. The doctor seeks to unpack the complex web of emotion, behavior and thoughts that are triggered by our experiences.
- Whatever It Takes: Master the Habits to Transform Your Business, Relationships, and Life by Brandon Bornancin. Succeeding at sales starts with understanding and mastering your own strengths and shortcomings, according to author Brandon Bornancin. In his new book, the author outlines the personal habits and beliefs that lead to success.
Prepare early for open enrollment
Open enrollment is a busy time, but it’s one you can prepare for. Make your resolution this New Year’s to prepare early for open enrollment, so that the crazy time of year will feel a lot less hectic in 2022.
As much as possible, make sure emails, websites, presentations and flyers are up-to-date and accurate well before the season begins. You may also find Delta Dental’s resource page for open enrollment helpful in preparing for the busiest time of year.
You yourself are the best source of knowledge about how to prepare. This new year’s, think carefully about the successes and shortcomings of the open enrollment season in 2021. Make a list of what you could have done better and make the resolution to improve any problem areas through better preparation.
Don’t forget to take some time for self-care in 2022! In this “new normal,” it’s easy to get wrapped up in work and to forget that pacing yourself is actually one of the most crucial aspects of productivity.
If travel isn’t possible, consider taking a staycation this year, using the time to do some fun (and safe!) activities in your own area, such as local hikes or an outdoor concert in warmer weather.
And don’t forget the little daily things, like a tea break in the afternoon or a walk around the block after work, that can really help you de-stress.
Resolve to get a healthy dose of relaxation in 2022, and you’re bound to have a more balanced and productive year.