”Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.” Aristotle
One of the single, most important skills that a salesperson can possess is to set goals that are so well defined, and so compelling, that they become embedded deep into the unconscious mind, consequently acting as a powerful force that drives motivation and behaviour. If your sales team lacks clarity about why they are doing the job that they do, their sense of purpose will become diluted and as their sales manager you are losing out on a massive piece of their potential.
The art to achieving whatever you want is to have a clear picture of your goal in your mind. You’ve probably heard this so many times before that the power of this one thing may have escaped you. According to Prentice Mulford (1834 - 1891), “Every thought of yours is a real thing - a
To put it another way, thoughts become things.
We are all connected to each other and the universe through our energy that ebbs and flows constantly. In fact we are like a powerful electro-magnetic transmitter where our thoughts vibrate at a certain frequency and attract to us, that of which we are thinking. In his bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill states, “That “the subconscious” mind proceeds to translate that impulse into its physical equivalent”.
Yet the mistake made my many sales people is that they don’t think about what they want, they think about what they don’t want. The human mind is unable to deal with negations, such as “I don’t want to miss target” or “this prospect will always go for the cheapest price”. In these examples, your unconscious mind will create ‘miss target’ and ‘prospects who only buy from the companies who offer the cheapest prices’. If you are asked NOT to think of a blue tree then your mind has already started thinking of a blue tree!
Therefore, when helping your sales team set goals for themselves, they need to focus on what it is they want, rather than what it is they don’t want.
The clearer people are about their goals, the more leverage they create because they start to attract them at an unconscious level. This means that having a picture of their goal and imagining how they will feel achieving their goal can be extremely powerful.
Having goals and well-formed outcomes will stretch and develop your team’s ability, keeping them challenged and motivated.
During a sales meeting you can give them the time to identify and write down what they want, which is the first step to creating a SMART goal. SMART stands for:
Specific - because it becomes more real when you are detailed. Imagine concentrating the rays of the sun using a magnifying glass into a force powerful enough to start a fire. This is exactly what happens when you are specific about your goal, because your power to achieve it becomes more focused.
Measurable - if you have been very specific about your goal, then you are going to find it much easier to know when you have achieved it. If there is no way of knowing what you have achieved then it’s vital you develop a way.
Achievable - having the faith and the belief that your goal is stretching yet realistic, generates more clarity, drive and determination. This in turn empowers the goal setting process. If your goal is so big that you genuinely believe that it’s impossible, even though it’s what you want, your unconscious mind will hold you back because it wants to preserve your energy from being used unnecessarily.
Relevant - sometimes it can be easy to set ourselves goals that are not really our own goals, they are the goals of others who have influenced us to think that we should want them too. If our goal doesn’t have any real relevance to us, then we will find it difficult to form an emotional attachment or connection with that goal.
Timed - people often find that if they have a certain amount of work to be done within a specified timeframe they will take the allotted time to complete their task. You may have noticed that when you are busy you tend to get more done. Sometimes if we have less to do and there isn’t a deadline to do it by, the tasks can take longer. Putting a time for when we want to achieve our goal by, works in much the same way and is a vital component for our own motivation.