Thursday, September 3, 2009

How Setting Goals and Following Through With Them Can Help You Achieve Success in Your Sales Career

Have you ever dreamt about what you would like to become and what you would like to be doing? Have you ever wished you had an unlimited source of money and could make decisions based on choice not dollars?

Now wishing and dreaming are things most people do every day. It's like buying a lotto ticket, hoping you'll win. That's why the majority of people are just surviving, getting by. They wish and hope that their luck will change and until then they settle for mediocrity, second best.

However, the small minority who make it to the top have one thing in common. They take action! Not just any kind of action, planned action, action based on predetermined goals.

It's true! Successful people can tell you where they are going, how long it will take and what they plan to do along the way. They are experts at goal setting. Their goals are specific, measurable relevant and trackable. They map out every part of their life, regularly reassess and fine tune for success.

Most people know the story about the Harvard class of 1954 where they tracked those who made goals and those who didn't.The small percentage that made goals on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis made more money, had more free time and more happiness than the others.

Well that same study has been replicated using a group of sales people. They found that 6 out of 10 do not set outcome-based goals at all and this group earns the least amount of all salespeople! Three out of 10 set earnings goals and as in the Harvard study, this group earns double the income of the no-goals group. Only 1 in 10 people sets specific goals but they earn 3 times as much as those who set no goals at all.

So if you want the kind of success in your career that only a minority have then becoming a master goal setter is the key.

Knowing how to set goals and then following through with them of course, guarantees to improve your career. It's the way to bridge the gap between what you are now and what you truly want to be.

Goals are really stepping stones to success. When you first start out learning how to set goals and follow through with them there are a few things you must keep in mind.

1. Make your goal achievable in the near future. It's all very well setting a goal that is just way out there....totally huge and fantastic. The problem with doing that however is that you can become overwhelmed and frozen into inaction. The task, although something you want to achieve may seem just too hard and you don't end up even taking the first step towards it. Better to break the major goal down into small steps that you can work on day by day and which lead to the bigger goal.

2. Write your goals down and share them with someone you trust or admire. This will help you stick to what you have said you will do and keep you accountable.

3. Celebrate your successes along the way. Each time to complete one part of the major goal or any of the goals you set, congratulate yourself. This can be done by actually saying positive things to yourself or giving yourself little rewards, like a night out at the movies, a takeaway dinner or a bunch of fresh flowers. Too often we are quick to berate ourselves when we don't finish a task or complete a goal rather than taking the time out to acknowledge the things we did do well.

4. Reassess your goals regularly to see if you are still heading in the right direction and rewrite them if necessary. It is better to do this than stick doggedly to something that is actually getting you nowhere.

Remember the wise saying of Confucius..... A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

We all have to start somewhere and taking that first step can be the beginning of something great! So start writing down your goals and remember it's okay to just start with small ones. When you achieve them you will feel so much better and be able to keep moving forward.

Donna Cox and Dayle Walker are the brains behind Success In Sales For Women. With more than 60 years experience between them in sales and educating people from all walks of life to achieving their true potential, Donna and Dayle now specialize in inspiring women who are keen to excel in the sales world. Learning how to set goals and follow through with them is one of the topics they cover in their membership Course. If you want to find out more go to or contact them at or

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