WARNING! Goals may be hazardous to your success! Are they sabotaging your selling efforts? Learn how becoming process driven will change everything.
Are you still struggling with your goals? Are you hitting your numbers? How many follow-up calls did you make today? How much good volume did you book this month? How many leads did you run this week?
These questions are relentlessly driven into our heads and for good reason. Like many sales professionals, there’s often pressure to reach quota or a certain level of acceptable performance. While having a monthly sales goal keeps your eye on the prize and your focus on the end result, it may actually do more harm than good.
I often hear salespeople say, “Results aren’t showing up fast enough.” At the end of each selling month, frustration and stress/overwhelm run rampant as salespeople scramble to do their best to close sales and meet their numbers.
If selling is transference of feeling, imagine the feeling that you’re transferring to your prospects? The stress of having to close more sales and the anxiety you’re feeling inadvertently puts undue pressure on every prospect you speak with, fostering an unhealthy relationship from the start.
The irony is, this constant push to reach sales numbers keeps you hooked on the goal, diverting your efforts away from refining the selling process needed to generate more business. The quandary then becomes, “I’m too busy to work on my process. I have numbers to meet!”
Paradox: The Result is the Process
In other words, what if you shifted most of your attention away from your goal or the end result and onto the process?
After all, what’s the point of eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream; to get to the end or to savor every bite? How about the goal of a self-care or an exercise regimen? Unless you’re in it to compete professionally, it’s to maintain a level of health, vitality and personal satisfaction.
The same holds true for measuring productivity, maintaining your peace of mind and experiencing a sense of achievement at the end of each day.
After all, you don’t do the result; you execute the process, which produces the result as a natural byproduct of your efforts. That’s the paradox. By honoring the process, you can enjoy the benefit of knowing that you will attain your goals, since it’s the process that will get you what you want. (Imagine building a house without a blueprint!)
Change What You Do or Change How You Think
To generate better results, you’re either changing what you do or changing how you think. To continually exceed your sales goals and better manage your mindset, change your thinking to become process driven rather than result driven.
Ask yourself, “Do I have a (sales, prospecting, follow up, time management, customer service) process in place that I can trust?” When you look at your daily schedule, does it outline the specific and measurable tasks and activities you need to engage in that will move you towards your goal?
Chances are, salespeople who are solely focused on the end result don’t have a process they have faith in. As such, they concentrate more on trying to control the outcome; pushing for what they want rather than managing their process. After all, you can’t trust and manage the process if you don’t have a process in place to do so!
Trying to achieve more without a process to guide you would be equivalent to driving from New York to California without a roadmap while wearing a blindfold. Not only can it be stressful but you’re bound to wind up somewhere else other than your intended destination.
Schedule a time with yourself to develop your process for attaining each goal or task that needs completing so that you can see the path you will be traveling on. Look back on the successful sales you’ve made as a starting point for developing your process.
For example, if you’re looking to generate a certain number of sales each month, what activities do you need to engage in on a daily basis to do so? What skills or tools need further development? (Ex: Introductory cover letter/ email + prospecting and voice mail approach/template + frequency of calls/follow up = process driven.)
Once you have outlined a path and a success formula to follow (X # of calls produces X # of prospects which produces X # of sales), allow the doing or the process to be the reward and where the pleasure resides, not just the end result. This way, you can be responsible for your future goals without having to worry about them. If you continue your quest with your eyes focused on the finish line, you’ll miss out on the journey. Therefore, be careful not to hook yourself onto the future so that you can enjoy the process of reaching your goals today.
Know When Enough is Enough
Knowing when enough is enough each day and the specific activities you need to engage in provides you with the freedom to trust the process you’ve put in place. After all, there’s always more to do. There’s always more that can be done at the office, at your home or in your life; another call that can be made or another email that can be read.
Exceeding your monthly sales quota will be the result of the cumulative efforts you make and the activities you engage in every day. When you’re mindful of the process, you now have the opportunity to recognize and celebrate your accomplishments on a daily basis (even the little ones) rather than pushing for or waiting until the “End.” (And when does that happen?)
Photo Credit: SMcGarnigle