I’ve asked hundreds of salespeople through the years about their goals for an upcoming year and a common answer is “I’m going to sell more.” When I ask how they are going to do that the most common answer is, “I’m going to work harder.”
I know that neither is likely to happen, not because they don’t want them to but wanting to sell more and pledging to work harder are not goals. At best they are hopes. At worst they are just lies we tell ourselves so we can more convincingly tell them to our bosses later.
They aren’t goals because they lack most if not all of the elements of the SMART method of goal setting. But most of all they completely lack specificity. Sell more? Wow, what salesperson doesn’t want to sell more?
The obvious question is how much more but even that answer would be missing the specificity to truly be considered a goal.
At the end of this post you’ll see an example of a goal-setting form designed to promote the type of specificity required to set true goals.
Pay close attention to every area. Your deadline to accomplish the goal is critical but so is the start date. Successful people know that “someday” is not a start date and neither is tomorrow. Write down the date and even the time of day on that date that you will begin. That’s specificity!
When thinking about the investment you’re willing to make to achieve your goals think in terms of more than mere money. What amount of time are you willing to invest to achieve these goals, money is often the easy part. Time is usually harder to come by, that’s why I stressed “stop goals” earlier in this series. When considering the challenges you’ll face and how you will overcome them think also about who will help you.
It’s not a weakness to ask for help and it’s not a bad idea to have that help lined up before you need it.
Lastly, how will you know when you have achieved your goal? Is it really measurable? You absolutely have to be honest with yourself here or the whole goal-setting process is worthless. So be honest!
Don’t forget to spell out what your first step will be. Starting is very often the hardest part of all. Once you get going you have the opportunity to build a little momentum. There’s nothing wrong with starting small, a little momentum is far better than none at all. So get going!
Never ever forget, these are your goals. Pay no attention to the negative people who may just be afraid of your possible success. Listen to those who have your best interest in mind but always make your own decisions.
Decide today that you will be unstoppable in pursuit of your goals and you will not be stopped. You will achieve the life you want and you’ll do it your way. I’d call that a pretty good definition of success!
So, here’s the very simple form to guide yourself towards achieving the life you want:
Using the SMART formula, determine the goals that will help you reach your Vision/Mission.
Goal #1 Long-term Intermediate Short-term (circle one)
Deadline to accomplish:
Investment I’m willing to make:
What challenges will I face?
How will I overcome these challenges?
How will I measure my progress?
The first step I will take is: