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A few additional thoughts on success goals in selling by Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey


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A "Secret" note for Business Owners and Sales Managers

A few additional thoughts on success goals in selling

By Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey

Ultimately, the measurement and review of your value to your firm, as a sales person, is directly tied to your ability to sell. Your leadership team will look at your sales volume at any particular time during your firm’s term of measurement. That look might be monthly, quarterly, a twice yearly performance appraisal, or year end. It will happen and it makes good sense to be both aware of it and prepare to ensure your sales results stand up or better yet, shine under scrutiny.

You may be providing intrinsic value to your team and your firm by your activities. However, when all is said and done, your selling results are the primary factor used to evaluate your performance and promotion. That is the harsh truth.

Sales master W. Clement Stone challenged his sales team to “Set a goal so Big, that if you achieved it, it would blow your mind.”

This is not a time to play it safe, nor is it time to listen to those (even those who may be relatively successful in selling) who would tell you setting goals is a waste of time. It isn’t! Your success and growth in the sales field will be directly tied to your ability to formally set and achieve your goals. Set a goal that will push you, one that will stretch you in its achievement.

Set a goal worthy of your potential and work to achieve it.

Here is a specific example: This year ____, I want to close $1,000,000 in new and repeat business. Or, I want to increase my commission and bonus earnings to $200,000 during this year ____.

In selling, life, and in business, we have documented, proven results, and thousands of stories of people who formally set goals who went on to substantially greater success than their counterparts. You can too, if you “plan and then work your plan.”

You know that this investment of your time in setting your goals for the year, and revisiting and revising them as needed, provides the roadmap for your selling success.

My Secret Selling Tips BIG, ‘Visionary’ goal for ___:

Visualize it! Write it! Achieve it!

Take a few minutes and go through a brief planning process in light of your BIG, 'Visionary' Selling Goal. Depending on your focus (Sales, commission, units) here is how might you do it.

1. Set your income or sales target (choose which works best for you) or,
2. Set your commission and/or bonus target (if this works better for you) or,
3. Divide your yearly target (#1) by the average commission and/or bonus per sale (#2). If you need help, go back over your previous year or talk to your sales manager. This calculation should yield an annual ‘unit’ sales target needed to reach your sales target, income, or commission.
4. You can then divide this number (either #1, #2, #3) by 12 to give your monthly target, or divide it by 50 (average number of weeks with 2 weeks of holidays) to get your weekly number.

Remember: Visualize it! Write it! Achieve it!

However you work it out, it is a good idea to break your ‘BIG’, 'Visionary' selling goal into measurable weekly, monthly and quarterly results. This makes it easier to track your success and make necesary changes if you notice you need to bump it up to keep on track.

Now what? What is next, if you are serious about meeting this BIG, 'Visionary' goal?

"Most beginnings are small, and appear trivial and insignificant, but in reality they are the most important things in life." James Allen

Start now. That great philosopher Woodie Allen said, "80% of success in life is showing up." Make the commitment to start and to detailed accountability. Remember, what gets measured, gets done. If you study the top leaders in selling, you'll find they are committed to being accountable. Ask yourself:

  • What activities (average) do you need to be involved in on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis to reach your calculated results?
  • How many (average) outbound sales calls do you need to make to explore or set up an initial sales interview?
  • How many (average) sales interviews or demonstrations (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly) do you need to qualify a customer where an order can be placed or a proposal created?
  • How many (average) proposals or contracts need to be delivered daily (weekly, monthly, and quarterly) to close the deal? What is your 'current' conversion or closing ratio?

According to 'average' selling statistics the 'average' salesperson closes 1:3 qualified leads. If you work in a retail environment where your company advertisng draws in motivated buyers yours might be higher. If needed, you can go back over your last year’s results (keep in mind you are setting a big goal that will stretch you) to get a sense of what is needed to get to the sale. And of course, you do not want to be average... you want to be an achiever.

When you have worked out your sales numbers in relation to your BIG, 'Visionary' sales goal, then you are ready. Being prepared is one of the Secrets to being successful in the game of selling.

Point to Ponder:

Henry Ford said, “Before everything else, being ready is the Secret of Success!”

Keep these numbers close to you as a reference guide to chart your progress. Track your progress and performance. Measure them frequently and honestly and decide where you need help. Ask for help when you need it.

• Do you need help in prospecting or qualifying?
• Do you need help in demonstration of your firm’s products or explaining your firm’s services, policies, etc?
• Do you need help in closing?
• Do you need help in your follow up to create additional sales and repeat business?

As you go through this selling success goal process it may become very apparent that you need to invest in your own development, as a sales professional. That is good! Over the centuries, our top leaders in selling were people who realized the importance of investing in their future success, today!

Reward yourself: If you have kids, you may have learned this lesson."Tasks that are rewarded are the ones that generally get done." If you really want to succeed in being better at achieving your goals, make a point of rewarding yourself when you have reached on milestone on your path to outstanding performance. It might be as simple as buying yourself a specialty coffee at your closest coffee shop, or treating yourself to a movie or special lunch.

Make this a year in which you amaze yourself and blow your sales manager's mind.

© 2007 Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey All rights reserved. Used with permission of the author.

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Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey is a productivity strategist and creativity catalyst who regularly writes for North American Consumer and Trade Journals, on-line magazines and company intranets. He is the author of 10 books including 2 on selling; and the 48th person in the history of Toastmasters International to earn their coveted professional level Accredited Speaker designation. He is a professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Visit his website for additional articles like this one:

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