Tag: goal

Too much event-based selling hurts your ability to close

Too much event-based selling hurts your ability to close

Many salespeople fall into the bad habit of depending on event-based selling to move their prospects through the decision-making process. A salesperson should spend a large percentage of their time doing personal selling, rather than event-based selling.

Before the above statement can sink in, I need to explain the difference. Event-based selling is when you have scheduled a meeting with multiple people from the prospect’s organization and maybe numerous people from your organization. Event-based selling identifies with such topics as demos and workshops. 

Personal selling is where the salesperson is simply sitting with the prospect discussing business and also maybe discussing family, weather, sports, or similar topics. This activity usually is one-on-one. 

Event-based selling is essential. It is the primary method of conveying information about your product. This is even more true if the product category is new to the prospect and is somewhat technical. You set up a demo, and you invite several or a dozen people from the prospect organization to attend. These are events. 

Events are important. You will never get the prospect to agree to buy many types of products if you don’t do a demo, a workshop, or a proof-of-concept event. You need to plan and execute these events successfully. They are critical for the success of you closing a deal.

However, events can be a crutch that hurts you in your sales campaign. Too often, a salesperson will try to “make something happen” by offering to do another event. Maybe that event is a “lunch and learn” for more people. Or perhaps that event is mini-demo of an individual feature not adequately explored in the original demo. If the prospect requests those new events, then, by all means, qualify them and do them to educate your prospect. But if you propose those new events as the salesperson, you may have a problem.

Start selling yourself instead of your product

Throughout my book, I discuss that you are selling three things during the sales campaign:

  1. your product
  2. your company
  3. you

You must sell all three things. However, if you are always offering to do additional events, you are likely to spend too much time selling the first two items and not enough time selling the last item – you are not selling yourself.

If you think about all of the sales calls you have made in your career, the questions fall into these three value offerings. At a high level:

  • The prospect wants to know all about the speeds and feeds of your product – a product conversation.
  • They want to know all about the pricing model of the product – a product conversation.
  • They want to know all about the support options and warranty of the product – a product and company conversation.
  • They want to know how long your company has been producing the product – a company conversation but also a product conversation.
  • They want to understand the roadmap for your company – a company conversation and a product conversation.
  • They may even want to meet some executives of your company to be comfortable with its management – a company conversation.

During these sales conversations, they are also learning about the value offering you bring to them. They are learning about you as a person. Are you reliable? Are you knowledgeable? Does the prospect trust the words that come out of your mouth? In short, they are trying to figure out if they should buy from you or, in essence, can they hire you as their representative for this kind of product.

Yes, you are for sale if you are in sales. You are a part of the value offering that the prospect considers in the evaluation. At a minimum, do you offer enhanced value to the prospect over just buying the product over the Internet?

Here is the rub; you are the essential value offering. It isn’t the product nor your company. They are secondary to the importance of you as a value offering.

Let’s be perfectly blunt, is your product that much better or worse than the competition? When you answer questions about your product, aren’t 90-99% of your responses positively responded regarding the customer’s concern? How often do you answer a question, “No, we don’t have that feature.” Obviously, you give that answer at times, but in those cases, you probably are not a good fit for the customer and will lose the deal immediately. If your product doesn’t have that required feature, you will not be talking to a qualified prospect for that product.

Isn’t your competitor’s product in a similar situation? Don’t most of their features match up reasonably well to your own product’s characteristics? I am sure that you do a little better at feature A or B. Although your competitor probably does a bit better at C. When you add it all up, it is probably pretty close to a dead-even tie. Worse yet, it is likely your prospect can achieve their goals perfectly well without buying the best product on the market (yours) because the second best or third best product will accomplish the goals. They don’t need the best; they need the product and company to be good enough to achieve their goals.

Similarly, how many times do you have to explain to your prospect that your company isn’t very good at supporting the product? Do you ever really lose a deal based on company longevity or commitment to the market? Of course not, and neither do your competitors.

As a Trapper, I continuously advise salespeople that features that do not differentiate do not matter. 

Does the car salesperson spend time explaining the value offering of the accelerator on the floor? Of course not, all modern cars have them. 

Does the TV salesperson explain that the remote will change the channel and volume? Of course not, all TVs have remotes with a value offering that does that. 

In both cases above, there was a time when those were unique and differentiating features, but not in today’s competitive market. The TV and automobile manufacturers have added those features as standard, and the features no longer differentiate the products. Since none of these features add a differential value offering, there is no reason to “sell” these features to the prospect. A salesperson that spends a lot of time talking about the value offering of these benefits is simply wasting valuable time.

So why do you spend so much time talking about your company and your product? You need to do the minimum amount to make sure you check off all of the checkboxes, but that is all you are doing. All you are doing is showing that your company and your product are good enough to match the competition. As soon as you achieve that parity, you need to sell the one benefit that only you can provide.

You need to sell you. You need to prove to the prospect that you offer more value than your competitor. You demonstrate this value offering by the information that you share with the prospect. You confirm this value offering by the benefit that you provide understanding your prospect’s business. By helping your prospect improve his or her skills and achieve personal goals, you make yourself irreplaceable.

If your product can help the prospect achieve a goal, your competitor’s product can likely do the same. If your company can support the product and the customer, then your competitor can do the same. You are the only genuinely differentiated benefit to the prospect, and you need to make sure your prospect understands this benefit (and the associated value offering).

You know that you have indeed won the deal if the prospect says they would buy either your product or your competitor’s product from you. You were the most valuable part of the sale. Have you ever heard those words from a new customer?

Suggestions to get out of the rut of doing too much event-based selling

It is quite easy to break the habit of pushing events rather than positioning yourself. Let’s break it down to two separate types of deals:

  1. Prospect is actively engaged with the next steps.
  2. Prospect isn’t calling you, but instead, you are always trying to do the next activity.

Prospect actively engaged

The first situation above is more straightforward. Your product is resonating with the prospect. However, this is a situation where it is easy only to do events and undermine the value that you bring.

In this situation, you must force yourself to engage with decision-makers. You must make appointments that allow you to interact with them without a demo or a presentation. A good rule of thumb is to do two or three personal meetings for every event based meeting that you schedule.

If your company and industry allow it, it is a great time to take the decision-maker to lunch. If lunch is not possible, ask them to meet in their cafeteria as it will at least allow a more casual conversation. 

Prospect is not actively engaged

This second situation is where the event-based trap typically happens. In this case, the prospect doesn’t seem to be “getting it” after your demos or presentations. You are frustrated as you have this opportunity on your pipeline, but it isn’t moving. 

The obvious, but the incorrect, conclusion is that you need to show them more so that they get excited about your product’s capabilities. Instead, you need to understand their goals and if your product can help achieve those goals. Too often, the customer isn’t returning your calls because you do not understand what is important to them.

A crude but effective opening for the personal meeting could be as simple as, “I am sorry, John, but the product we have been discussing doesn’t seem to impact you or your company. What am I missing? What are you trying to achieve by talking to us?” This open-ended question is something that is difficult to say with a group of people from the prospect or if you have an army of people with you. It is much easier to have this open and honest conversation if it is just the two of you.

The answer to that open-ended question will allow you to start selling the most important differentiator: YOU!

Header Photo by Free-Photos (Pixabay)
Focus on unrealized goals with your prospects and not pain

Focus on unrealized goals with your prospects and not pain

During my recent podcast with Colin Stewart of Predictable Revenue, I discussed the concept that people do not buy from pain but rather from missed goals. I want to build on that topic in this post as it is a critical concept in your thought process.

When people make a decision to spend their own (or their company’s) money, they do so because their goals do not align with their reality. They wish that they were in a different situation and their desire to be in that situation is acute enough that they are willing to invest their time and their money to get closer to that goal.

Many people discuss ‘pain’ as the reason that people buy. This belief is not entirely true. Pain is the result of not realizing goals. Therefore, ‘pain’ is a ‘lagging indicator’ of the situation. In a competitive situation where there are no Trappers, pain may be a good driving force. Trappers try to get ahead of the situation and drive the buyer into a situation that is conducive to them winning the order. If you wait for ‘pain’ to occur, you run the risk of involving many more competitors and being much later in the sales process. Instead, you want to control the process, which means that you want to discuss the goals of both the organization and the individual people.

In addition to ‘pain’ being a secondary and lagging situation, it also has very negative connotations. It is much harder to discuss an individual’s ‘pains’ than it is to discuss the individual’s goals. Goals have a very positive feel and therefore make you a valued partner to the prospect. 

A similarity from your everyday life: if you have knee pain then you may see a doctor. While you and your insurance company will likely give the doctor money to cure that pain, it does not give you a positive feeling about the doctor – it is more of a necessary evil. However, you may have a goal of getting into shape and losing weight and therefore join the local gym. You are more likely to develop a long-term friendship with that gym and its employees even though you may give them much more money over the term of your membership. The people who are working in the gym are helping you get to your goal whereas the doctor is solving a problem or a ‘pain.’

Pain means that something is broken. It is a negative. While it may be common in this age of social media to whine and complain about broken things, it does not create a feeling of excitement or enjoyment. The excitement only comes when you are trying to achieve a goal.

The athletes on your favorite sports team don’t work hard in practice because they want to avoid the pain of losing. Instead, they work hard because they want to win. Winning is the goal. The desire to accomplish a goal allows everyone to be motivated to work hard. Talking about pain with an athlete is to talk about losses, hard practices, and injury. The athlete is much more motivated talking about the game wins and the plans to win the next games. The same is true with your prospect.

Pain is also not the reason to choose one product over another. Pain may justify the purchase, or it may start an evaluation process. If all the products solve the pain, then ultimately price and ‘terms and conditions’ will be the deciding factors. However, most evaluations are more concerned about goals and achieving those goals. In my book, I give an example of buying a TV, if your pain is that you have a broken TV then any TV should solve your pain. If your goal is to watch sporting events and feature films on the best-looking and best-sounding audiovisual system on the market, then your list may be more detailed and more demanding. 

Similarly, if your pain is that you cannot get to work in the morning, then hundreds of automobiles, along with some public transportation options, will solve your problem. If you have a goal of getting to work in a sporty red convertible, you will eliminate many of the choices, and the car salespeople must help you meet your goals.

The chosen product will match the goals of the prospect, not just the pains of the prospect.

In sales, we can use this to our benefit. We will center our initial questioning and needs development with our prospect on goals and the ability (or inability) to reach those goals. By doing this with the Discoverer (a role that we discuss more in my book, Eliminate Your Competition), we have the advantage of being a long-term and trusted ally. As the sales process evolves, other vendors are brought in to ascertain their possible remedies, but the prospect sees them as solutions to a problem (pain) that you have helped them identify because their reality was not the same as their goal. You, on the other hand, are a trusted confidant who only has their best interest at heart and you are willing to guide them as they explore their goals.

If you are curious about some of the terms that I use in this post, you may want to read my book. You may purchase my book, Eliminate Your Competition, from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

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Five Habits of the Best Salespeople (and how they differ from their underperforming peers)

Five Habits of the Best Salespeople (and how they differ from their underperforming peers)

Are you doing things every day to make you a successful salesperson? Are you following the best practices of top salespeople?

For managers, do you know which traits to encourage in your reps? Do you have a plan to make them better by pushing them in the right direction for success?

1. The top salespeople spend more of their time selling. High performers spend 36% selling than their peers. Top salespeople spend 19-23 hours selling per week, but average salespeople only spend 14-18 hours selling per week. Spend time focusing on activities that generate revenue. 

If you want to be a top salesperson, you need to spend time focusing on activities that generate revenue. It is not uncommon that salespeople will complain about being dragged into non-revenue generating activity, but few maximize their time. This also means that you need to understand that being a top salesperson is not a 40 hour per week job. You need to delegate the time-draining activity to weekends and after hours. When are you doing your expense reports (hopefully on Saturday morning)? When are you sending thank you notes and follow up emails (hopefully in the evening while helping the kids with homework)?

2. Top performing salespeople don’t give up easily. Top performers will try to contact a lead nine or more times before giving up. Average performers will only try to reach a non-responsive lead five times before moving on.

This activity doesn’t have to all be once-per-day phone calls. As I explain in my book, Eliminate Your Competition, you should be developing your own newsletter for maintaining a relationship with your customers, your top leads, and your cold leads.

3. Top performers are driven individuals. When asked to discuss their traits, 81% of top salespeople rate “being driven” as being very important. Average reps only said this 57% of the time.

4. Top performing salespeople think critically. When surveyed, top performers rate “critical thinking” as being essential to their success while only 40% for their average performer brethren.

5. Surprisingly, high performers tend to be more independent. Top salespeople solve their own business problems and are not needy of their manager. Sales managers report that they spend 30 minutes less time per week than their average performers.

Part of the reason that sales managers spend less time with their top-performing reps is that every manager wants at least a moderate improvement in rep productivity. By definition, it can be easier to get more net growth from a low performing rep than a top-performing rep.

However, to be a top salesperson, you need to be able to run your business. You can count on your manager for “air support” in times of need, but you need to have your own plans for moving your prospects through the pipeline and making small customers into big customers.

Following is a video that gives a few more details to these five critical traits.

Header Photo by OpenClipart-Vectors (Pixabay)
Time Is Your Enemy. Here Are Some Tips To Eliminate It As Your Competition.

Time Is Your Enemy. Here Are Some Tips To Eliminate It As Your Competition.

Time will beat you in every deal if you let it. It is a constant competitor. It is relentless. It never takes a break.

In every deal that you lose, you could possibly say that you just ran out of time to convince the prospect that you had the best solution. Whenever you do a post-mortem on your lost deals, it usually comes down to a simple realization, you didn’t spend enough time on with key decision makers. Sometimes you were blocked from spending time with the decision maker that turned the deal against you, but we all know that those blockers can be defeated given enough time.

We also know that time kills good deals. On old manager told me a statement that I often repeat, “The only things that get better with time, are cheese and wine.”

Using your time effectively is critical to your success as a salesperson. Hopefully, I can give you some tips to encourage you to do a better job, but I do have some bad news. You have probably heard all of these tips before. There is nothing new I can tell you. The only difference is that you decide to do something about it this time, or you don’t. You can always procrastinate about getting better with time management.

Here is the reality, if time is your biggest competitor, then procrastination is his coach and champion. Procrastination will help you become a very mediocre salesperson. Procrastination helps time eliminate you in your deals. You need to overcome procrastination.

To beat procrastination, you need a friend/coach/champion for yourself. That friend/coach/champion is urgency. Sometimes urgency can come from your manager, but when your activity becomes so low that you need your manager to give you urgency, then there is a good chance that your job is in trouble. That is not a good thing. Try to be urgent without your manager helping you.

Maybe your urgency comes from your spouse and family. That is good urgency. That means you are staying on top of your business for the benefit of others. You want to close all the deals that you can find so that you can provide for your family. You want to give them all of the great things in life that they desire and deserve.

I know salespeople that keep a picture on their desk or as the background of their computer merely to establish that urgency. To remind themselves that they are working hard so that they are providing a great life for their family. That is a good urgency.

How urgent are you?

Here is a bit of math to help you increase your urgency and eliminate procrastination as a competitor which in turn will help you beat time.

Assume that you have a 1 million dollar quota. Also, assume that the average product sale for your company is $50K. To continue this scenario, lets assume that you have learned from the most successful salespeople in your company that in order to consistently do 150% of quota (or $1,500,000 – remember that you should always think of your goals as a complete number!), you will need to close at least three deals for four times the average deal size. In other words, you need to close three large deals of 200K each.

While you have an annual quota, it is best to think that you always have to do 150% of quota in any given 12-month window. So in the next 12 months, you need to close:

3 – 200K deals for a total of $600,000.

18 – 50K deals for a total of $900,000.

You need to close 21 deals, and three of them need to be large deals to achieve your goal of 150% of quota.

The Power Matrix that I describe in my book Eliminate Your Competition suggests that you should cover 9 people in your small deals since they are less than 10% of your quota. It also tells you that you need to reach 25 people in your three large deals.

Some of those people that you need to cover in the Power Matrix you will meet with only once but others you will visit with many times. Some of your meetings will have multiple people in them. For rough assumptions, let’s assume that you need twice as many meetings are there are people that you need to cover. Therefore, you need 50 sales calls on your big deals and 18 sales calls on your smaller deals.

The above math means you need to make 150 (3×50) sales calls on your big deals and you need to make 324 sales calls on your small deals. That is a total of 474 sales calls or just shy of 10 per week. It also means that roughly ⅓ of your sales calls are going to be on large deals.

If each sales call is 45-60 minutes, then the overall time for each meeting is about 90 minutes from parking lot to parking lot. That is 42,660 minutes of sales calls every year for the deals that you win.

You will never win every deal. If you follow the suggestions of my book, Eliminate Your Competition, then you will eliminate your competition far more frequently than you will be eliminated. Let’s assume you win 75% of your deals. This means you will work just as hard on the deals you lose as those you win. That means that you need to increase the 42,660 minutes by 25% which is an additional 10,665 minutes. That is a total of 53,325 minutes of sales calls per year and approximately 12-13 sales calls per week.

There are approximately 120,000 work-minutes in a year. You can do this. In fact, you can easily do this. The only issue is if you procrastinate. If you procrastinate then procrastination’s friend, time, will eliminate you from some of these victories and from achieving your goal.

I talk in my book, Eliminate Your Competition that you need to be making sales calls before the customer starts their decision-making process. Assuming that means you are calling on the customer 36 weeks before the order (the assumption that I make in the case study in my book Eliminate Your Competition) then today, you need to be calling on 19 opportunities (21 divided by 50 working weeks in a year times 36 weeks decision-making timeframe multiplied by 1.25 because you lose 25%). At least three of those opportunities need to be candidates for big deals.

More math, you have to make 12 sales calls this week. Above, we determined ⅓ of those have to be on deals you think could be large deals. That is 4 per week.

Hopefully, this math (modified to match your quotas and average sales metrics) helps you create the urgency to achieve your goals.

You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Here are some tips that will now help you develop your time management.

1 – Set goals

I discussed in an earlier article on how to set your goals, but now you can amend that with the math above. For instance, in this article, you need to make 12 sales calls this week. Also, you need to make four sales calls this week on opportunities that are going to be large deals.

2 – Find a good time management system and use it.

Everyone is different in how this works. There are lots of blogs out there to help you. Pick one and stick to it.

3 – Tackle your biggest tasks in the morning.

The different systems out there will give you different advice. However, as a salesperson, your day will almost definitely get crazier as the day goes on. Therefore, every morning you need to make sure you accomplish your number one task before you do anything else. In my opinion, your number one task every day is to make sure that in the next two weeks, you have 12 appointments scheduled with four of those appointments being for deals that are expected to be substantial.

4 – Follow the 80-20 rule. Another great time management tip is to use the 80-20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle.

In this case, 80% of your revenue is going to come from 20% of your activity. The Pareto Principle reinforces that you need to focus on your big deals as you need to have your 25 people in the Power Matrix covered and comfortable with you, your product, and your company.

5 – Schedule email response times.

Don’t respond to incoming emails until you accomplish your top goals for the day. Yes, this is difficult, but you need to ignore the marketing emails and even the emails from your boss until you get your top goal accomplished – get your appointments scheduled for the next two weeks.

6 – Take frequent breaks when working.

If you have an office day, you need to stand up and walk around every 45 minutes. Get a coffee or water. Look outside for a few minutes. Please don’t go out and smoke though because smoking is an almost guaranteed trip to the hospital or the morgue when you get older.

7 – Meditate or exercise every day.

Some time-management gurus will tell you to do this first thing in the morning. This may not be possible for some sales professionals due to interactions with customers or maybe the home office in other time zones. Instead, either workout or meditate (or both) sometime during the day. If morning works for you, that is better, but daily is essential.

8 – Make to-do lists in the evening for the next day.

Before you check out of work for the day, update your task list. If you prefer a piece of paper, then rewrite a clean version for the next day. If you prefer a software-based task list, review it and make sure it is accurate. Make this the last thing you do every day. Make sure that making your goal for appointments per week is one of the top one or two things for the next day.

9 – Turn off social media app alerts.

Every day you will log into social media to make sure you are appropriately communicating to your prospects. You need to create a reputation that you are making them smarter. However, confine this interaction to once in the morning and then once in the afternoon. For your personal social life of looking at cat videos and pictures of your niece – do that in the evening on your own time.

Header Photo by ۞DLB۞
Set Five Goals for Personal, Family, and Professional

Set Five Goals for Personal, Family, and Professional

It is very important that you set goals for the important things in your life. To do this, use the “Memory Law of Five” that I discuss in my book “Eliminate Your Competition” in the discussion about developing Bait for your Traps. You can easily remember five things. One for each finger on your hand. Studies have shown that the human mind is very adept at remembering and relating to five items.

5 Personal Goals

Because your well-being is so essential, set five goals for yourself that only involve yourself. Maybe it is to lose 10 pounds by next Christmas. Perhaps it is to read 1,000 words from the biographies of the US Presidents.

5 Family Goals

Now set five goals for you to achieve with your family. An example could be that you want to retire to Jacksonville FL by the time you turn 62. Perhaps you want to move into a four-bedroom home on at least 1/2 acre within four years. Maybe it is that you want to have your first child by the time you turn 29.

5 Professional Goals

Lastly, write down five professional goals. The most natural goal for a salesperson is that you want to sell $3,700,000 this fiscal year (if you don’t understand why you write out the number then read my earlier article). Another goal might be that you want to be certified to sell the new product that came out by the end of this fiscal year. Another goal could be that you want to finish the sales management training class by the end of March. In my opinion, a great goal would be that you read the entire book “Eliminate Your Competition” in the next 30 days.

Write down each of these goals but don’t stop there. Create a plan for each one and then communicate your written goal and plan to the appropriate person. Send that person regular updates on your progress.

Your personal goals should be shared with your best friend that can keep you honest and won’t hold back chastising you when you fail to make progress.

Send your family goals to a family member – maybe your significant other, sibling, parent, or trusted cousin. You can even send it to Aunt Emily. Choose anyone that you trust, as long as that person is looking out for you and will ask you for updates and question your progress updates.

Your professional goals can be sent to your manager or your professional mentor. Same as the above, this needs to be a person you trust but also someone that wants you to achieve your goals. Choose someone that will politely but firmly give you a hard time when you don’t follow up and don’t hit your goals.

You may purchase my book “Eliminate Your Competition” from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Create a Plan to Achieve Your Goals

Create a Plan to Achieve Your Goals

You will not be the best person that you can possibly be unless you set goals. In fact, goals are not sufficient; you must create a plan to achieve a goal. A goal without a plan is merely a wish.

Wishes are something that children do when they look at stars or when they throw a coin into a fountain. You are not a child. You are an adult. You are a professional. Set a goal and make a plan to achieve that goal.

The greatest source of wisdom is undoubtedly the Christian Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13:11

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

You do not need to be a Christian or religious to be a great salesperson, but great wisdom is great wisdom regardless of the source! You should put away childish things like merely hoping that things will get better. Instead, be an adult and make a plan to make it better.

Most people go through life without bothering to write down their goals. Very few people have specific and measurable goals, and even fewer have written these goals down.

An even smaller amount has also thought of a specific plan to make these goals a reality. That is your advantage in life over the average person (who is your competitor on the next deal you are pursuing).

A recent study showed that you are 58.3% more likely to achieve your goal if you write down your goal and communicate your achievement progress to a co-worker or friend. Why would you want to fail? Why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to succeed?

When you don’t have a plan, you don’t know how you will reach your destination.

What kind of goals should you set?

The first thing to do is to make the goals SMART. SMART is a popular acronym, and there are hundreds of articles written about how to write SMART goals.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

Now that you have a specific goal that will lead you to the success that you wish for in your life. These are no longer childish wishes; these are firm steps to propel you through your life. You must now create a plan to achieve that goal and you must work with someone you trust to have your progress monitored. This will dramatically increase your chances of achieving that goal.

In an upcoming post, I will discuss the types of goals that you should create.

Success Should be Your Primary Business Goal

Success Should be Your Primary Business Goal

Every massively successful salesperson that I have ever met has one over-arching trait that is common among all of them. A successful person is goal oriented.

I recently had lunch with a salesperson that I respect a great deal. It was a lunch with several salespeople planning their joint marketing events for the balance of the year. A junior salesperson was asking one of the more senior salespeople for some advice on a deal. During the conversation, I overheard a piece of advice that all salespeople should adhere to:

“Always begin the year with the goal of making quota for that year. In fact, always begin the year assuming you are going to do significantly over your quota for the year.”

Being goal-oriented starts by assuming that you will be successful. Your company and its managers will surely give you challenging quota. It may even shock you that they want you to achieve that quota based on your account base and the company’s position in the marketplace. You may be able to negotiate this quota, but eventually, it will be written down, and it will be your final number.

Once your quota for the year is set, stop complaining about it. That part of the process is over. Now you must succeed.

The first part of any successful process is to set your goal that you will blow away your quota. You must convince yourself that YOU WILL BE SUCCESSFUL! You must set your sights on a number that is higher than your goal. You must plan your activities to achieve that goal.

Once you have established that goal, you need to write it down. Just like all goals, if you don’t write your goals, then you run the risk of not being successful.

As a salesperson, this particular goal is probably your most important professional goal. Revenue fixes all problems so if you make this goal then you will likely come very close to achieving all of your other goals. With this importance in mind, write it in big letters and put it in a prominent place. If you have a desk in an office, I suggest you place it on the wall directly above your monitor or laptop. This way whenever you are creating a proposal, it is right there reminding you. If your office is virtual or in your home, place it on your bathroom mirror or put it on the door to your closet.

Wherever you choose to place your goal reminder, make the goal direct and straightforward. Make sure it is where you will see it every single business day.

While you may arrive at your goal by multiplying your quota by an additional percentage, don’t write down the percentage. Write down the revenue amount that you need to achieve that goal. Don’t write down 125% on that paper above your monitor, write down $5,200,000.

By looking at what I just wrote in the above paragraph, it should be obvious another rule – write the revenue number out. Don’t write $5.2M – write $5,200,000.

Revenue fixes all problems with salespeople. Assume that you will be massively successful. Assume you will make quota. Never believe at the beginning of the year that you will lose.

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