Stay focused, stay the course and stay successful
We’ve talked about the ups and downs of sales; that “rollercoaster” that can throw you off if you aren’t looking at the bigger picture. Think of being goal oriented, then, as the way to keep your wheels on the rails. Sales success through goal orientation can be viewed as that harness that keeps you in your seat, whether your climbing up or heading downward.
Here are a few questions to ask if you have the characteristics that help you assess how well you exercise Goal Orientation, which energetically focuses your efforts on meeting a goal, mission or objective.
Do you act independently to achieve objectives without supervision?
It’s easy to stay on track when someone is looking over your shoulder, telling you which steps to take next to reach a goal. However, and you may be surprised a business coach like me would tell you this, you shouldn’t need such supervision, especially if you are a salesperson, out of the office at least a part of every day. Lean on a mentor sure to help establish your goals, but at the end of the day, it is YOUR job to meet your goals. Develop a habit then of self-assessment to make sure your actions match your goals.
Expends the necessary time and effort to achieve goals.
People who opt to make excuses will say “I don’t have time.” People who opt to make a change say, “I will make time.”
As you map out your objectives, consider the real world and the time it will take to achieve them. What will it take to achieve each task on the way? If it’s a sales goal in dollars, break it into the number of new customers you will need to gain, or the percentage increase you will need from existing customers to get there. How much time will you need to invest to gain either? One hour per new prospect? An additional phone call to existing customers or 15 minutes in person?
Calculate these things and schedule them - in writing. It’s powerful to see it in black and white, and all you need to do is follow your schedule. Bank in the time you’ll need for the “no’s” as well, but stay the course and spend your time wisely.
Recognizes and acts on opportunities to advance progress towards meeting goals.
When you look through the prism of your objectives, you will see every opportunity there is to capitalize on them. A discount that you can pass along on products to your customers that can result in an additional sale. An upcoming event that you can use to prompt your customers to purchase new or additional products or services. A recent award or achievement that will help build trust with customers. Think strategically and seize the opportunities - because they’re out there.
Establishes and works toward ambitious and challenging goals.
If you don’t set a tough goal, you’re certain never to reach it. Don’t be afraid of being aggressive or ambitious. Be bold, and be open with associates and customers in sharing your goal. Support can come from surprising places, and if you share your goals with others, you may find assistance in leads or ideas.
Develops and implements strategies to meet objectives.
What process will you put into play for success? The above is also a great strategy to meeting objectives. Assemble resources that can help you get to where you’re going, and always remember their support. At some point, you’ll have information that can help them in turn. Generosity is never wasted.
Do your homework: information is strategy as it always gives you perspective in the market, knowledge about product, and a clear idea of possible obstacles and competition. Walking into a prospective client’s business armed with knowledge also helps you present yourself as an invaluable resource, ready to answer their questions and close the sale.
Measures effectiveness and performance to ensure results are attained.
If you’ve determined it will take you 3 months to achieve a goal, don’t wait for the tenth week to review how things are going. Check your progress early and often. What’s working? What’s not? How can you improve? The earlier you make adjustments, the more likely you are to reach your objectives, on time.
In addition, define how you will measure your progress. If it’s dollars or the number of customers, create weekly goals to compare. Popular theorhis also serves to encourage you when you meet interim goals. Because let’s face it: in a long journey, every mile is an accomplishment.
Acts with a sense of urgency to achieve goals.
Give yourself time, yes. But don’t stretch out the finish line. Keep your objectives on a schedule that creates a sense of urgency without being unrealistic. Especially if you’re a procrastinator, placing a deadline doesn’t give you time to lose focus. In this case, you may also need to develop traits and habits that help you overcome behavior that creates distractions and obstacles.
Demonstrates persistence in overcoming obstacles to meet objectives.
Life happens. Clients cancel meetings. Weather events cancel meetings. Your kids are sick, and you need to take the day off with them. When you plan your objectives, therefore, plan for some contingency in the inevitability that you’ll need a backup, a plan B.
Above all, don’t let any setback derail your focus. Your objective is still there, waiting for you to reach. Keep your eyes on it and stay positive.
Takes calculated risks to achieve results.
The keyword here is calculated. Size up the situation, the market and the competition, and apply a little strategy to stick your neck out in making a bold move. Often a risk in these cases come across as confidence, which in sales can land you a new client.
Goals are the roadmap to success. Once we define them, write them down, and lay out the steps to reach them, the next steps are simply to follow the plan. Of course “simply” is sometimes easier said than done. However, if you keep them in front of you every day, and chart your progress and reach smaller goals daily, your confidence will keep you on track on the rollercoaster ride that is sales.