Editor's Notes

In this world of electronic communication, the overwhelming majority of us have e-mail.

In this world of electronic communication, the overwhelming majority of us have e-mail. It has become the way we stay in touch with friends and family. My parents recently insisted that I set up an e-mail account on Yahoo for my 8-year-old daughter (after all, there were some things they just had to forward to her from their e-mail accounts. Apparently, you can never send enough pictures of smiling puppies and sleeping kittens.). She lives less than 10 minutes from them, but my daughter just had to have an e-mail account for my parents to stay in touch with her.

In some ways, I understand that. After all, e-mail has become the way I stay in touch with authors, advertisers, and friends in the dental industry. Yes, I have been guilty of forwarding jokes and thoughts to friends within the industry, and I certainly have my share that come back to me. One of the people in the industry who always shares great e-mails with me is Terry Hucks, the vice president of sales and marketing at Class One Orthodontics in Lubbock, Texas. Terry and I have met face-to-face only once, but we stay in constant communication by e-mail. He always sends me tremendous e-mails, but the one I have attached below seemed to be a great one for me to share with all of you. I am blessed by friends like Terry - friends who show up in my e-mail inbox on a regular basis and always make me smile.

While it may be March and New Year’s resolutions may be quickly fading (or gone) for many of us, I think this set of questions I received from Terry could be just what is needed to make it a better year for many of us, including me.

Thanks Terry for sharing this and so many other e-mails - and thanks to so many of you for your friendship reminder that shows up in my inbox.

Questions to ask yourself for the best year ever.

If you’re serious about having your best year ever in 2006, today is the best time to start. I suggest you take some time to sit down with these questions. Think about your answers. Challenge yourself. Write them down, then go to work!

It’s quite simple - if you want to be better in 2006, you need to do more than simply want it. You need to make some changes. Start now.

What are you going to do to improve your industry and product knowledge in 2006?

How many inactive customers will you revive and turn into regular customers again? What do you need to do to make that happen?

What will you do to ensure you’re protecting your best customers and adding more value to the relationships? How will you sell even more to them?

How many new customers will you bring on this year? How do you plan to do that, specifically?

What, specifically, are your sales and production goals for 2006? How does that break down into quarterly and monthly goals?

How much more money will you make in 2006? How will that happen? What will you need to do today to take the first steps in that direction?

What will you need to do to increase that number by an additional 10 percent?

What are you going to do every day to keep your attitude at a high level?

How much time are you going to spend daily to improve your own sales skills? What will you do?

How many referrals will you get in 2006? How will you get them? From whom? What will you do to turn them into sales?

What will you do to improve your physical health in 2006?

In which areas will you improve your personal, family, and spiritual life?

How are you going to maximize the use of your time? Where will you cut out the time-wasters in each day?

What have you been putting off that you will take care of within the next two weeks?

Who can you help to feel special every day?

What challenge, wish, or desire - that you’ve never attempted before - will you finally achieve in 2006? How will you do that? Why?

Where are you going to write all of this down so you can review and revise your plans regularly?

What will it look like when you accomplish everything you’ve just been thinking about? How good will it feel? What will it sound like when you achieve these things?

Why couldn’t you do all of this?

Any answer to that last one is not a reason, but rather a self-imposed limitation, excuse, or lack of desire or effort. The biggest deterrent to success looks us in the mirror every day.

I don’t know about you, but I have to go - I haven’t finished working on my own answers. I’m going to be sure that 2006 beats 2005.

Now, go out and plan to have, no, commit to having your best year ever in 2006!

Read on, this is your magazine.

Kevin Henry, Editor,
kevinh@pennwell.com

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