The Best of The Drift, 2013: The Selling Stuff.

Last week we began our year-end wrap up with a look back at the top Drift posts related to industry trends and developments. But as our regular readers know, The Drift also offers hard-core sales advice to those who put themselves on the line every day selling digital media or technology services. For all of you who drive our business forward based on how you sell, here's a Christmas Week collection that just may get your 2014 off on the right foot. Happy Holidays from all of us at Upstream Group.

"The Agenda Vacuum." Things not going well on your sales calls? It could well be that you're suffering from the lack of a proactive, challenging agenda. Without one, all you can do is react and respond, which always puts the seller at his worst.

This week's Drift is proudly underwritten by PubMatic. With PubMatic's platform, publishers have the ability to offer their inventory to over 400 global Demand Partners - ad networks, demand side platforms, ad exchanges, and agency trading desks - and have on demand access to all the software, tools and services they need to realize the full potential of their digital assets.

"Straw Men." Looking for some good advice on objection management? Stop managing them until you know whether they're even real. An ounce of qualification is worth a hundred pounds of argument. Recognize the "straw man" objections for what they really are.

"Being Curious." A little curiosity goes a long way in a sales situation. But don't just show up with an open notebook and a bunch of questions: start your discovery well before the meeting and then let your real curiosity guide you through.

"Hacking Your To-Do List." OK, so this one isn't sales advice per se. But LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner's list of "26 Time Management Hacks I wish I'd known at 20" is priceless. Here we serve up a few of our faves.

"Don't." Much of great sales performance is about what you stop doing. So, like, just stop doing all this stuff.

"Once More, With Feeling." Stop playing a role and actually care about the difference you're making for your customer. It's amazing how much more powerful empathy feels when it's genuine. In 2014 shake off any lingering sense of cynicism and care, dammit, care!

"Change the Conversation." Like Don Draper so often says on Mad Men, "If you don't like what they're saying about you, change the conversation." But how to introduce a proactive new conversation? Easier than you might think.

"The Child Inside Your Customer." We built hugely complex arguments and decks to impress our customers. But in the end they have only three real questions: "What Did You Bring Me?" "Where are we going?" And "When Are We Going to Get There?"

"Your Cheatin' Heart." As Rishad Tobaccowala said at our Seller Forum this fall, "In times of change, clients become polygamous." How to thrive in a world full of cheaters? Read on.

"The Fab Five." Five things super successful digital people do all the time. So, again, not just about sales. But who can't benefit from a list like this?