December 4, 2017
Part 3: What are your goals?
Contributed by Kim Jennings-Eckert
I love to cycle! I may not cycle 50 miles (yet) but I do enjoy spending time outdoors on two wheels. I find it so relaxing to be with nature, headphones on jammin’ to 50 cent, Pitbull and Nelly. Don’t judge me for my music choice! Even if you hate it, you can’t deny that it gets you moving. It’s my go-to for motivating music when I know I need to push myself to keep going. When I first started cycling, I was thrilled to go 10 miles. For someone who hadn’t been on a bike since I was 10 years old, I thought that was fantastic. However, I started watching fellow bikers – in their spandex and racing handlebars – you could tell they meant business. I quickly learned that if I wanted to play with the pros, I needed to get serious.
So why am I talking about cycling in a sales article? Simple! They are both competitive sports. Yes, I liken sales to sports, in lieu of the typical “hunting” analogy. To be successful in sales, and assuming you aren’t green, you must be motivated, have stamina and achievable goals.
Setting your sales goals – where to start?
I started seriously cycling 1 year ago. My ultimate goal is to spend a week biking the Katy trail from Clinton, MO to Machens, MO – a one-way trip of 237 miles! That’s a long way to ride and will require training, goals and ongoing motivation in order to persevere. Sales, my friends, is no different.
Do you think if I set my goals at 15 miles each time I ride the local trails, that I would be able to make this goal? I would be inclined to say no. Now I know someone out there will prove me wrong. The average person needs to steadily increase their goals, incrementally, in order to rise to the occasion. Sales is exactly the same. If my goals – or the goals I set for my team – never increase, then why would we strive to sell more? We must be told to sell more or we need someone holding us accountable. Otherwise, it’s too easy to stay in the exact place, where we are comfortable.
Of course, how much your goals increase depends on several factors. For example, you’ve been asked to sell 10% more than in previous years. That’s doable, right? Let’s up the ante to 30%. Now how does it feel? Let me illustrate a quick picture:
The greater the challenge, the greater the goals. In order to grown our top line, we need to steadily increase our daily goals to reach the finish line.
You have goals…how to stay motivated?
If you’re leading a team, your best salespersons typically derive from a combination of skills and their leadership. YOU are a good leader if you know how to motivate through incentives, guidance and trust. If you have to micromanage, they lose confidence.
Looking for self-motivation? As a competitive personality, my motivation comes from books, articles, watching other salespersons and learning! As a self-described, self-help billboard for Amazon books, I love to learn and accept that my life is continuously evolving. I continuously strive to hone my skills and learn new ones, as it can only help me grow both personally and professionally.
This article is about setting goals to get the most out of your team, or to challenge yourself. To me, sales is IN you.. it’s part of your DNA. You love it or you don’t. You don’t force it to happen or decide to “try it” – it’s your personality. But we are human and can get lazy or be complacent. Just like cycling – you love it or you don’t. And if you do, you have to work at it to increase your distance, speed and stamina. Cycling is a sport – just like sales – and the landscape is ever-changing. We must always train (aka educate), set increasing goals, stay motivated in order to increase stamina and keep up with the terrain.