Salespeople without goals are often the least successful salespeople in their group. Here’s the type of thinking you need to be sure that you can take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and for you to sell more.
What do you want long term?
You can’t make a plan without a goal. Your goals tell you which direction to head and often determine the choices you should make along the way.
Goals not only guide you, but they also motivate you. Early in my sales career I had a small territory. I really didn’t have a chance to win the top sales prize from my company. There was one distributor who consistently contributed the sales growth that caused his salesman to win the top prize. That didn’t stop me from setting big goals.
I decided early on that I wanted to win one of the top prizes for sales achievement. Years later I achieved my goal when that large distributor got sold. His sales no longer counted in my region. With his sales eliminated, there was a chance for me to win. I had set that goal 10 years prior and spent the time working on achieving my goal. As my business grew over time, I was finally in a position to win the top prize.
What big goals are you setting for yourself and your sales?
What’s bugging you now?
Some of the important work I do with my clients is show them the obstacles that are in the way of achieving their sales goals. I advise my clients to be protective of their time. You miss the opportunity to achieve your objectives when you waste your time on meetings and activities that don’t serve your goals.
Pay attention to the time you waste at meetings. Establish your requirements to attend meetings so you can avoid attending unproductive meetings. Some people get requests to attend “emergency” meetings. Here’s what I advised one client to email the meeting organizer of these “emergency” type meetings:
I want to effectively prepare for your meeting. This is what I need:
1. Meeting agenda
2. Meeting objectives/goals-How will you determine if the meeting is successful?
3. Meeting participants
You train disorganized people to realize that your time is protected and they can’t count on you dropping everything to respond to their whims. You also force them to prepare for the meeting so it might be more productive. I inform everyone I work with that I only attend meetings with agendas. I have also asked, “Which part of the agenda do you specifically need me?” Perhaps you can attend only during that part of the meeting.
Some people send emails at night and expect answers immediately. That is unreasonable. Working around the clock is exhausting and really unfair to you and your family. One client changed his email signature to read, “I do not check emails from 7pm to 8am.” Give yourself permission to be “off the clock.” You will change other people’s unrealistic expectations of you when you inform other people that you won’t respond at night.
Examine your work and with whom you are working. Do you have to change their expectations with deadlines or other work requirements? Be certain to state the time you need for the work you are asked to do so you allow yourself enough time to do it without sacrificing other parts of your life. Eleanor Roosevelt was right. No one can take advantage of you without your permission.
Successful salespeople set long-term goals. They remove the obstacles that others place in their way. As JP Morgan said, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” What better advice is there for your future sales success?