WE HAVE this tendency to create grandiose goals that generally never come to fruition.
In fact, we set the bar so high that when we fail to achieve, we become discouraged and complacent – which is not the best attitude or mindset to have as a salesperson or marketer!
The main reason these goals rarely come to fruition is because they are just that – too big.
When we think of getting in shape, it’s difficult when we look in the mirror and realise that we need to drop 40lb.
It just doesn’t seem possible…40lb pounds – that’s a major undertaking and it rarely happens.
When it comes to increasing sales, we might say things like: “I want to increase my sales £200,000 this year”, or: “I need to get 150 new clients this year.”
These goals are all good but when we settle down and really look at them, it becomes apparent that it’s a massive task!
That’s not to say goals aren’t important. But too often, we set ourselves up for failure merely by not creating small obtainable goals, or as one business guru calls them, “inch pebbles”.
You can look at any objective in any field, whether it’s sports, a military objective, a construction project or food service for a major event.
The overall objective may be vast, but it is important to break them down into manageable mini objectives in order to keep your sanity and to ultimately achieve your goal.
So yes, have large goals, but break them down into smaller “inch pebbles”.
To take you UK sports fans out of your comfort zone for a moment, in baseball, home runs and grand slams are great, but rare – base hits, however, win games.
When building a massive building or complex, it takes time to survey, dig the foundation, pour the concrete and erect the structure – it all takes time.
I had a friend that would call this “eating the proverbial elephant, one bite at a time”. It’s there in front of you – break it down into small chunks and begin.
When I was selling and had my own marketing company, I actually set mini goals for myself.
For instance, I knew that I wanted to increase sales every year by 15% and increase margins (when they were low) by 3%.
So I would take last year’s sales and margins and establish a baseline, i.e. last year sales were at 400K and margins were at 30%, so next year I want my sales to be at 460K and margins on average at 33%.
I would then break that down into smaller manageable bites with this mindset:
- 250 selling days in a year, 50 weeks in a year (two weeks vacation… take a vacation);
- 50 selling hours in a week, 10 selling hours a day.
So in order to achieve my goal of 460K in that upcoming year, I would need to do the following, working backward:
- Each day, I would need to $1,850 in sales;
- Each week, I would need to $9,200 in sales;
- Each month, I would need $38,333 in sales;
- If my average order size is $1,500, then I need to sell 1.23 orders per day.
Whatever your numbers are, adjust them and do the maths. I would actually create a spreadsheet that I would fill in daily. When I missed the mark for the day, I didn’t get discouraged; I forged ahead.
On the many days when I may quadrupled my efforts, I still forged ahead and never ever said: “Well, today I hit my quota – therefore, I’ll take off the balance of the day or week.”
No, I went after my business relentlessly.
Doing this, I do not believe I ever missed my year-end target; in fact, most times I managed to exceed my own expectations by 10 to 15%.
Working with this formula gave me the flexibility and time to work in my strategic marketing plan and the following year, I could analyse the dips and peaks and determine how to make the peaks even higher and focus on the dips.
As Chip and Dan Heath say in their book “Switch”, create black and white goals for yourself, like: “I will not eat cupcakes this week”, or: “Today, I will make five cold calls.”
These black and white goals give you zero wiggle room – they are small, distinct and obtainable.
Then, by replicating those “inch pebbles” over time, you obtain your overall goal!
This small thinking leads to big results. In this way, you can hold yourself accountable, one day and one base hit at a time.
We now return you to your scheduled cricket…
- Cliff Quicksell, MAS has been involved in the Promotional Marketing Industry for over 30 years. He is the recipient of more than 25 international sales and marketing awards for innovation, creativity and his contributions to the industry. He is a regular featured speaker at the Trade Only National Show.