Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; that’s beaten in our heads from kindergarten onward into our adult lives. It gets your day started off right and keeps you from being hungry all day. But you get to the office, and you are told to be hungry and really get after your sales tasks. Close those deals, call those prospects, find new prospects, grow the business.
But how do you do that? Especially if you want to keep eating your pancakes? Set Ambitious Goals!
Set goals that you know you’re going to have to work hard to get to, but that you have a realistic chance of doing so. You wouldn’t tell yourself that you’ll be able to run a 4 minute mile by the end of the month if you’ve not run farther than from your desk to the soda machine — tell yourself you’ll be able to run a mile by the end of the month. Then next month start trimming that time down. The same for sales goals. Set a number of deals or dollar amount goal that you’ll have to stretch a bit to get to. This part is easy. The next part is where the work comes in.
Now you have to analyze how you did in relation to your goals. For the interests of brevity, I’ll keep your outcomes to 3 possibilities – you either smashed through your goal, you hit it, or you missed it. When you look at how you did, be brutally honest with yourself. Did you say you were going to sign 20 contracts and signed 19? That’s NOT hitting your goal. Self analysis only works if you can be honest with the results.
If you hit your goal the first thing you should do is celebrate that fact. You did something you set out to do. So buy yourself a drink or a cookie or whatever makes you happy and enjoy that for a minute. Immediately after that is over you need to set a new goal. Set one a little higher that before that you can go after now.
If you crushed your goal a good margin, you weren’t ambitious enough – set a goal even higher than what you just did and start crushing that goal. Keep doing this until you stop smashing through your goals.
If you missed your goal you need to make some real analysis of why. Did you have something completely outside of your control that stopped you, or did you just underachieve (be honest here – it usually isn’t outside of your control)? If its something outside of your control — keep the same goal and do it again. If the reason you missed your goals was a lack of effort or execution on your part, what can you do to get better? Do you need help in the form of training or resources? Do you need to buckle down and get in gear? That’s easy to say but hard to do. One of the best things you can do to motivate yourself towards a goal is to share this goal with your sales manager — have this “why we missed” conversation together. Don’t be scared of the accountability that comes with it — embrace it. This is the only way you’ll get better and it will help your sales manager help you to get there.
So go out now and set an aggressive goal. Set something that’s going to be a challenge. Then get hungry and get after it — but not until after breakfast.