You Better Not Cry, You Better Not Pout!

This is a great time of the year. It’s a time when the frantic pace of business slows down a bit (unless your last name happens to be Claus) and it allows families to spend more quality time together. But of course there can be a dark, ominous cloud circling overhead, ready to drop a deluge on the salesperson who has not made his or her annual sales goal.

Salespeople live through December with one eye on bargains and the other eye on their sales numbers. There can be some nice commission or bonus checks dropping through the mail slot in mid-January, assuming of course that the rep has made goal. But when you think about it why would a salesperson have to sweat out the last month of the year? It’s simple, they spent too little time the previous year planning and goal setting for the following year. Here are a couple of reasons why:

  1. The sales funnel is replete with opportunities, more than enough to make goal next year.
  2. Business has been good and there is no reason to think that it won’t continue.
  3. There are some new products in the pipeline.
  4. Several large customers are expanding their business.
  5. It’s takes too much time to sit down and write out goals for the ensuing year, particularly since 1-4 are in the revenue mix for next year.

Number 5 is a blend of ADD and laziness! Salespeople hate to take the time to sit and think about the next year. And I was no different! I became more interested in goals when I moved into sales management. The stakes are higher and the pressure is greater.

If you’re not a believer in written goals then I’m probably not going to change your mind. As a sales manager and management consultant I tell salespeople to take a hard look at what they want to earn in a year. What is their income dream for one year? This is not what you will earn if you make the company’s sales goal for your territory. This number is your dream income! If you’re making 75K and you want to make 100K then the 100K is your dream income! (If you can’t make the 100K at your current company then think about moving on if that’s feasible.)

This is not rocket science but it does require playing in a different mental sand box. If you’re satisfied just to make your territory sales target then don’t complain if you’re sweating out December every year. If you want to eliminate the last quarter of the fiscal year stress then set your income goals higher and establish your daily sales behaviors (day to day goals) so that you can meet that income level. I know this sounds idiotically simple but too often we, as salespeople/managers, get locked in on specific numbers and forget that we are masters of our own fate. Think beyond your company target.

The Final Thought:If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it. Jess Jackson


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