3 Steps to Achieving Your Goals - and Making Your Vision a Reality!

By Colleen Francis

Are you ready to do what it takes to get what you want this year? Then consider taking the Engage Selling Three-Step Challenge to achieving your goals, creating your path to success - and taking your career wherever you want it to go!

Some are set by our companies and some we set ourselves. For many sales reps, it wouldn't be January without either a new sales quota or a new personal objective for the year ahead. If I had to guess, I'd be willing to bet that we all want to achieve more this year, right? But how many of us have actually created a detailed plan that will help us realize our goals?

Step 1: Dream.
If you can't picture it, you can't reach it. Period. So whatever you want to achieve - you first have to envision it!

So where do you begin? Below is a simple, 4-step planning tool you can use to build your career, by building a clearer path towards achieving your goals every month, quarter or year:

The vast majority of successful people failed many times before they succeeded. Don't believe it? Just consider that:

  • Colonel Sanders received 1005 rejections before 1 person finally decided to try his family recipe for fried chicken.
  • Thomas Edison went broke 4 times.
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
  • A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney for never having any good ideas.
  • Steven Spielberg dropped out of high school in his sophomore year. When he was persuaded to come back, he was placed in a class for students with learning disabilities, where he lasted a month before dropping out of school forever,
  • Einstein's grades in school were so poor that a teacher advised him to quit, telling him that he would "never amount to anything."

Imagine what would have happened if these incredible individuals had allowed these setbacks to stop them from doing what they knew they could do. They each excelled in very different fields. But what they all had in common was a clear vision of what they ultimately wanted to do. Because of this vision, they didn't give up, and they didn't let other people discourage them.

What can we learn from this? Those who are completely committed - even devoted - to their vision, are willing to try and try again until they achieve it. So no matter what you want to accomplish this year, remember this: Ultimate Success comes from having a Clear, Ultimate Vision.

How do you go about getting clear on your vision, and what you want? Find somewhere quiet where you can concentrate, and then spend the time to ask - and answer - such questions as:

  1. What do you stand for?
  2. What do you want to have in life?
  3. What do you want to experience?.
  4. Who should you associate with to achieve this vision?.
  5. What do you want to do with your time?.
  6. What are you most grateful for today, and how will you express it?
  7. How long do you expect to live, and when do you want to retire?.
  8. What do you plan to do after your retirement?.
  9. What will you do with your time if you live longer than you expected?
  10. What are you willing to give up?

Step 2: Plan

Now that you have your clear vision, it's time to determine what outcomes or goals you need to set for yourself this year, to help you begin to realize it.

Grab a pen and paper (or your laptop and printer), and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What, specifically, are your sales quotas and production goals for 2004? For each fiscal quarter? For each month?
  2. How much more money will you make in 2004?
  3. What will you need to do to increase THAT number by an additional 20%?
  4. How many inactive customers will you revive?
  5. How much business will you get from your existing customer base?
  6. What will you do to ensure the loyalty of your best customers? How can you add more value, and make your relationships more profitable for both of you?
  7. How many new customers will you bring on this year?
  8. How many referrals will you get in 2004? What will you do to turn them into sales?
  9. What will you do to enhance your skill level this year?
  10. How many networking events will you attend?

Remember: for each of these exercises, be sure to write everything down! Studies from Ivy League schools have shown that people who write their goals down out-earn those who don't by a margin of 30:1 over a twenty-year period. (Interested in the whole story on these studies? Just email or call our office!)

Step 3: Act

Finally, once you have your vision and plan in place, it's time to start taking action towards achieving your desired outcomes.

Based on your list of what you're going to accomplish this year, you need to ask yourself the tough questions, like:

  1. What specifically do you need to do to achieve your goals?
  2. What do you need to plan to accomplish your objectives?
  3. What tools do you need to realize your vision?
  4. Whose support do you need to enlist to make it happen?

If you are specific and sincere enough, the answers to these questions will tell you exactly what you need to do each day to move closer to achieving your goals, and realizing your ultimate vision.

I also encourage you to make two or three notes beside each goal, explaining precisely how you will make each one happen by answering the questions above. Then, once it is complete, prioritize this list into the following three categories:

  1. Things I commit to getting done in the next six months.
  2. Things I commit to getting done in the next twelve months.
  3. Things I commit to getting done over the next three years.

(Need a hand on how to break down your sales goals from an annual quota to a weekly or daily task list? See our tip on goal setting from last year!).

Once your list is prioritized, the final step is to do something immediately to accomplish one of your goals. No hesitation. No procrastination. And the sooner you can take action, the better - preferably within 24 hours of writing down the goal.

For example, if one of your goals was to attend a sales conference this year, spend 20 minutes on the Web searching for relevant conferences in your industry. If it's more training you're after, search the Web or call some local training companies to obtain their course listings. Or if your goal is to make five new calls to prospects each day, start sourcing the new leads and entering them to your CRM now.

Whatever your goals, the important thing is to begin to work towards them today. There's nothing easier than getting into the habit of putting difficult tasks off, and before you know it, another year of opportunities will have passed you by.

Now that you know what you want, and what you have to do to get it, acting on your plan right away will help you start building momentum towards the kind of continuous action you will need to make all those dreams come true. Or, as Nike would say… Just do it!

If you really need an extra push this year, give us a call! Our goal setting workshop is now available on-line to walk you through the process from Dreaming to Reality - and help you take your first steps towards true sales success!

Liked this article? Connect with me on Connect with Colleen on LinkedIn!LinkedIn!

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Nonstop Sales Boom by Colleen Francis Make sure you check out Colleen's latest book, Nonstop Sales Boom for powerful strategies to drive consistent sales growth quarter after quarter, year after year.

Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions (www.EngageSelling.com). Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line.

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