As you prepare to close out 2018 and ready yourself to usher in a new year I suggest we take a closer look NOW at where you want to be at this same time next year—in 2019. Goal setting is a term that Sales Professionals tend to hear so often that they can become numb to its power and its strength. In our profession there are way too many “hacks” out there that basically “let things happen to them” (i.e. playing a “reactive role in their life and profession rather than an “active” role). Often, it’s these same people who sit back and say it wasn’t me, i.e., I am the victim. They haven’t given a single thought to “goal setting”. “Goal Setting” is a sure way out of the victim mentality and frees you to decide what you want.
Why not try a brand-new approach? Map out the success you want to achieve and go from good to great in 2019!
There is no better place to start than to take a look over your shoulder. Did you reach your goals this year? Did you even know what they were? Did you accomplish what you wanted? Did you even know what that was? Did you go forward? Did you go backward? Did you go nowhere? Did you make more money, less money? Do you have more accounts, less accounts? How about the time you spent with your family? How about your personal fitness? How about your quality of life? What are the top 10 events that happened for you this year? What are all the good things that happened vs. the bad things that happened?
At Sales Coach International we believe in success by design, not chance. I’m going to give you 7 steps that should be used by sales people, sales managers and professionals all across the board, to design what you want to accomplish in 2019. These steps are a “take-off” from a book I read by Brian Tracy called “Eat That Frog!”
- You have to clearly decide what you would like to accomplish this year.Clearly decide what’s going to look different 365 days from today. Clearly decide what it is that you want inyour life and your career. Clearly decide what it is you want outof your life. Clearly decide what that change is going to be. Clearly decide what car you are going to drive. Clearly decide what house you will live in. Clearly decide how much money you want to make. Clearly decide what your book of business is going to look like. The key word here “CLEARLY”. You have to be very specific. You can’t use words like “bigger” or “better” or “more” or “different”. There are two different types of goals. One is “meaningful specifics” and the other is “wandering generalities”. It is my experience, most people, if they even attempt to get into goal setting, lean toward the latter. “Wandering Generalities” have a lot of “wants” attached but no “specifics”: “I wantto do better”, “I wantto make more money this year”, “I wantto lose some weight this year”, “I wantto drive a nicer car” etc. These aren’t goals. You’ve got to CLEARLY decide what it is that you want to accomplish—right down to the specifics.
- When you have clearly decided what it is you want to accomplish; write it down. Many people have trouble writing goals down because they are not clear on what it is that they want. I don’t mean to just find any spot to write these down. I don’t mean to just put it in an email or write it on some Word document that can get lost on your hard drive. How about this? Get a black Mead composition notebook. On the front 2 lines write “2019 goals” and your name. On the top of each page you write down your clear meaningful specific goal. If you don’t write it down, it’s just a dream. Dreams rarely come true. Goals in writing often do. Once you write it down there is a level of commitment that is often missing when you are simply saying it or even just thinking it. Once you seal it in ink, your mind subconsciously starts to go to work on it. If you don’t write it down, it isn’t going to happen. It’s that simple. So get a notebook!
- Set a deadline for reaching your goals.There have been many studies that show average business tends to get 65% more results in the 4thquarter than in the previous 3 quarters. Why is that? Because there is a self-imposed deadline. There is a drop-dead date. There is an “or else” attached to it! Customers don’t change. Customers don’t change the way they buy; we change the way we sell. In the fourth quarter we are more inclined to ask the uncomfortable questions we generally avoid throughout the course of the other 3 quarters. We impose a sense of urgency on the buying process rather than the customer doing so. Our customers don’t change–WE just operate differently, and this happens when we set our goals– when the clock is ticking on our goals.
- Make a list of everything that needs to happen in order to achieve your goals. What got you here? What did your account base look like this year and how many dollars came in from your A accounts and your B accounts and your C accounts? How much time do you spend on each one of those? Where are the revenue streams for your commissions? Where are the revenue streams for your business? Where did you mostly spend your time this year? If you keep doing the same things that got you where you are now than chances are you are going to stay here or, with the marketplace rapidly changing, you might even go backwards. Can you afford that? Open up your notebook that you recorded your goals in. On each page you are going to have a goal on the top and some of those goals are going to fall into buckets of your professional life. How many sales will you need to make? How much money are you going to make? How much account development are you going to do and how much account service are you going to do? The goal might be more personal such as “quality of life”, “health and fitness” etc. For example, most of you know I am very focused on golf. If there is a change, I want to make in my golf game, I write down exactly what I’m going to improve in 2019. I write how much I’m going to improve, what my handicap is going to be and how many rounds I’m going to play. I might write how many practice rounds I’m going to have, how many lessons I’m going to take, how many outings I’m going to take with the boys, how many top 100 courses I’m going to play in the country. I could focus on what I’m going to do equipment wise, what typesof lessons I’m going to take or how many putts I’m going to average. As you break a goal down in order to achieve your meaningful specific clear goal, there are many things that can be included. Write down every single thing that has to happen or has to keep happening in order for you to achieve your goal. Don’t worry about the specific order on this step. We’ll cover that next.
- Organize your list by priority and sequence and put it into a plan—celebrating your wins along the way.What has to happen first? What happens after that? What is an absolute non-negotiable item that has to happen in order to achieve your goal? What’s going to be the most difficult thing to tackle? I’d probably want to attack that one first. I might have to spend more time on this or read up on it a little. I might have to gain additional training or education. Put some things down and organize that list into a plan. Now you have a plan. Break it down into milestones and CELEBRATE these accomplishments along the way! If your goal is to lose 25 pounds, don’t wait until you’ve lost 25 pounds to celebrate. If you lose 2 or 3 pounds in the first month, be excited about it. What do I get if I lose 3 pounds that first month? (I suggest it is something other than a cheeseburger—exciting as that may sound!) What do you get for a personal reward when you land that big account in the first quarter? What do you get? Celebrate the milestones to give you the fuel to continue the next steps to accomplish your goal.
- Once your plan is written, start taking immediate action. Don’t hesitate. Don’t over strategize. Don’t polish it up. I don’t care how mediocre the plan is. I’ll choose a person who attacks a mediocre plan with incredible passion, commitment, enthusiasm and drive, any day, over somebody who’s going to sit back, strategize and polish up the plan. Days and months can be wasted in these types of behaviors and before you know it, nothing gets done. The key is to take fast, instantaneous action on your plan.
- Commit to do something every dayto bring you closer to your goals. This is the “miracle step”. Take that tiny step every day to bring you closer to what it is you want to accomplish. If you want to become a stronger sales person this year, you may have set a goal to read 15 books on how to be a better sales person. That may seem like a daunting task but, reading a couple of paragraphs or a chapter every day certainly is not. You have committed a set time each day. You might have to get up a half hour earlier. These are the things that need to happen, a little step at a time. Passing on that cheeseburger, or dessert, having a salad instead, these are the little things that will get you towards that weight loss. On average, most people spend only 20 days out of 365 working towards their goals. It’s easy to see that if you were to spend 365 days out of 365 doing little steps, you will surpass most on a regular basis.
To recap, the seven steps to follow to go from good to great in 2019 are:
- Be very clear on what it is you want to accomplish
- Make sure that you write it down and think on paper
- You are now the publisher and the editor of a magazine and you have to set a deadline for everything that has to happen.
- Make a list of everythingthat must happen in order to achieve your goal.
- Organize your list. Put it into a plan and celebrate your wins along the way.
- Take immediate action on your plan. Don’t over strategize.
- Commit to do something EVERY single day to get you closer to your goal.
If you follow this road map for successful goal setting, there’s no reason 2019 can’t be your BEST year ever. It won’t happen if you don’t design it! So, pick up your pen and get started today! Why wait until January? Design your plan and create the path to go from good to great in 2019!