Archive for July, 2009

Setting Goals in Business, Baseball, and Life

July 31, 2009

Every successful person I’ve ever met has been a goal setter. Setting goals gives an individual a sense of purpose and a sense of direction at the same time. A baseball player, for example, must know how to distinguish between appropriate goals and inappropriate goals. Furthermore, he should know that what others expect of him has no place on his list of goals. Without that understanding, his purpose is likely to be counter-productive, and he’s just as likely to head in the wrong direction.

Result goals are not within the hitter’s control, therefore they are inappropriate. It’s all well and good to have the desire to achieve a certain number of hits, home runs, RBI’s and so on, but a hitter can’t dictate what happens to the ball after he hits it. He cannot control the ability of the players trying to get him out or how another team defenses him, but is able to control his thoughts and actions before and during his swing. That’s where his concern and focus should be.

Being well prepared and well conditioned, being relaxed, keeping your eye on the ball, knowing when and how to make adjustments, being able to focus on the immediate task at hand — these are simply stated but formidable goals. They are all behavior goals — and those are the ones a hitter can work on daily. He cannot work on his batting average, which is an end. His behaviors are the means to that end, but even impeccable behavior doesn’t guarantee the result of getting hits.

What goals are appropriate for you? As a sales manager who works with several different companies and a slew of different sales personalities, I ask those that I work with not just to define a goal, but to also identify the steps it takes to achieve that goal. These steps not only help to determine how appropriate the goal is, but get the goal setter to think about what type of person he/she needs to become in order to achieve those goals.

One client set a goal of gaining 2 new clients which would result in an additional $10,000 of new business each month. When identifying what he needed to do to get there, he came to the realization that he needed to better organize his day; which started with getting into the office on time and calling 5 potential clients between 8:30 and 9:30 AM—the time he usually reserved for watching SportsCenter after dropping the kids off at school. Those 5 calls a day lead to 3 additional meetings a week, which lead to 2 new clients a month and an additional $10,000 of new business. While the result was what was hoped for, the real achievement was that the client now had learned how to organize his day and was better able to truly help his clients–which had as much or more to do with the new clients as the additional phone calls did. He took those skills and made them a regular part of his life; now having the ability to spend more time with his family and to enjoy the fruits of his hard work.

By becoming that better person, you, too, will find success, no matter how many home runs you hit.

Are You A Goal Setter?(polls)

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What’s Your Best Way to Get New Clients? (Poll)

July 30, 2009

We told you what we think. Now it’s your turn to tell us!

What’s Your Best Way to Get New Clients(polls)

How do I Find New Clients: An Easy Question with Many Answers

July 30, 2009

How do I find new clients?

This is something I am asked almost every day, a very easy question with a variety of correct answers.

Traditionally, the best way to find new clients was to go out and knock on doors until you found a new client, then another and another. Back when I started in sales, selling business forms for Wallace, my job was to get out into my territory, find an industrial park and start walking in one office after the next trying to find the guy who purchased invoices, mailers, labels, and anything else that we could put ink onto. Once I got his name, I would try to either see him then or schedule some time to come back to tell him how our ink on paper was so much better than everyone else’s. How was I judged that first year? If I regularly came back to the office at the end of the day with a handful of business cards and a story or two about a receptionist, it was pretty much assumed that I was doing my job and doing it correctly.

But then times started to change. At my next sales job, selling IT technical support services, we were told to make 100 cold calls a day to ask people if they needed our assistance or to schedule a meeting to get to know them and the systems they ran so when it was time for them to use us, we were ready. Then came email. Now we could reach out to several people at one time to tell them how great we were and why they would want to work with us. Now it is “social media” blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and how many other places where we can let the world see why they would want to put their hard earned money in our pocket so that we can help them solve a particular problem or need.

Are any of these particularly good ways to find a client? Are any of these particularly bad? In my opinion, they can all be both. In today’s age of selling, a good sales team should be doing a combination of all of these things, both attracting clients by using their website, social media, blogs, email marketing, and other tools to help your ideal customer find you; and continuing to develop strong account executives who take the time to develop relationships with their clients, understand their needs and help them to find solutions that can help them.

My Blog

July 26, 2009

I have more than seventeen years experience in the sales industry, both in the trenches as a salesperson, and as a manager, consultant, and business coach. During that time I have worked with both major corporations and smaller and mid sized businesses. Through my blog I hope to share what I have learned over the years, and let my experience work for you by helping you reach your sales goals and put money in your pocket.