Don’t Look Back, You’re Not Going That Way!
Yogi Berra said “You gotta’ have a goal or you might end up somewhere else.” It doesn’t make sense but we all understand what he means. My first sales manager said it better, “A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.”I think most of us have goals, however, we don’t maximize our goals by using a proven system to motivate ourselves and measure our progress.Here are some important elements of great goal setting. First, it must be written down. If it isn’t written down it’s not a goal, it’s a wish, it’s a hope, it’s a prayer but it’s not a goal. Write it down!Second, set a time frame. You must have a finish line. No finish line, no goal.Third, you must tell someone important to you about your goal. By committing to someone important to you or many people, you put pressure on yourself to perform. Sports is full of examples of this. Mohammad Ali, Joe Namath and Dizzy Dean; all committed publically to what they’d accomplish to put extra pressure on themselves to perform. If you really are serious about your goals, tell people important to you about your goals.Next, you must have written activity & results goals. As I’ve said before. Activities are the precursor to your results. First, set your results goals then set your activity goals based upon those results you want.For example, if you must have ten first meetings to get a sale, then just multiply the number of sales you want to make by ten and you have one of your activity goals. You cannot control who buys but you can control how many people you see.Next, as part of your goal setting process you should set high and low results goals. Your low goal should be what it takes to keep your job, pay your bills, feed your family. Like Disraeli said, “A goal once set, then death or victory.” Your “low activity goal” is a function of this “low results goal”.Your high goal should be a stretch goal, like Robert Browning said, “A man s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” Then your “high activity goal” is a function of this “high results goal”. It’s simple if you put it on paper.By the way, most publicly traded companies use this system. They have a publically disclosed budget (low goal) and a higher internal operating budget (high goal).So now you’ve written your goal down, set a time frame and shared it with people important to you. Further, you set both high and low results goals and the activity goals that will make them happen. Next, break your goals down into the smallest time frames possible.You eat an elephant one bite at a time; you begin a journey of 1,000 miles with a single step. The smaller you can make your goals and time frames, the easier it will be to achieve them. Most sales people should break their activity goals into daily activities. Results goals may be weekly, monthly, quarterly, even annually depending on what you’re selling. The power of focus lies in small time frames. From now on, harness that power!Two more thoughts about goal setting. You must track your activity and results. Compare them to your goals. If you don’t track, shame on you. It’s like playing a game without keeping the score. Reviewing your tracking is like watching game films. It’s a must.Finally, don’t stack your goals. If you miss one week, don’t load up the next. If you miss one month, don’t try to load up the next. Stacking goals make them a millstone around your neck that slow you down. Goals are designed to help you, not hold you back or add undue pressure.If you exceed your goals, don’t lower your future goals. If you fall short of your goals, don’t add to them. Just look in front of you, don’t look back. You’re not going that way.Sales consultant Tom Black hopes to provide a touch of humor, inspiration and motivation for those along for the ride in the roller-coaster career of sales. Learn more at www.tomblack.com