Two things that are mandatory in sales: you must be a people person, and you must set goals. While not everyone is (or necessarily should be) a social butterfly, everyone, from a small child to an elder statesman, can (and should) set goals.
In sales, goals keep you reaching and striving to be better than you were yesterday, than you were 5 minutes ago even. They should challenge you to climb the next highest peak, to lift that extra weight. But don’t start out trekking up Everest on your first hike or trying to bench 405 pounds in your first workout; rather, set reasonable and realistic goals that require incremental growth, using your current ability as your baseline.
While most sales goals are number related, they shouldn’t be restricted to them. Take a more holistic approach to goal setting. Set goals for growth, both in terms of yourself and your business sense. Growth in one area helps in another area, which helps in the next area, which, well, you get the idea.
During several points in my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience as much as 52% annual growth in sales. In fact, I’ve recognized a consistent 38% growth for a little over 5 years now. How did I do this? Did I sit around waiting for a genie to magically appear and grant me 3 wishes? Did I step over everyone in my path and use them for my own gain? No, and hell no. What I DID do was set goals. I saw a prize, I went after it with all I had, and I earned it. This was between me and the endgame at the time. This wasn’t about twiddling my thumbs or making enemies. This was about challenging myself to do more than I could at that time. Was it easy? No, but like that great family man from the “Vacation” movie franchise, Clark W. Griswold, once said, “Nothing worthwhile is easy. We know that.”
Along the way, I made (and still make) daily affirmations to get my mind set on the destination for that day. Think of affirmations as a good cup of coffee that awakens the brain and the spirit after a good night’s rest. Your affirmations support larger goals (annual or life goals) by slowly chipping away at them with daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
Some daily affirmations that will assist you in achieving your goal(s) are:
- Take 15-20 minutes to read a sales blog
- Subscribe to 3-4 weekly sales training newsletters and READ them
- Set up a sales training Twitter feed and check it daily
While there is no one-size-fits-all formula for setting goals, your chances of achieving them are improved if you find some balance between the following factors:
- Your skill and abilities
- Your rank against your competition
- Your prospect challenges
- Your market ‘barometer’
- Your hunger factor
I tend to place the most importance on hunger. Without hunger, you’ll starve in the sales world— heck, life in general. You have to want it, you have to attack it, and you have to leave unsatiated and ready for the next challenge. (Don’t confuse being ‘hungry’ with an excuse to be greedy. Unlike what Gordon Gekko believes, greed is NOT good; greed will backfire on you in the end.)
What are you waiting for? Tomorrow is too late. Set your goals NOW. Start advancing toward them NOW. And with every step that brings you closer to your goal, remind yourself of where you are going and why you are on your way. Don’t look back, and don’t slow down.