Every sales executive has heard how important it is to set sales goals. Don’t worry, I’m not going to bore you with why you should set sales goals. But I am going to suggest a somewhat radical, new change to the way you currently set goals so you can achieve higher sales performance. And that radical change is this:
Beginning right now, stop setting “YES” goals that revolve around results and productivity and start setting “NO” GOALS instead.
Yes, you heard me right. I’m proposing that you immediately stop focusing on the number of sales you intend to make or dollars you intend to generate. You will achieve higher sales success when you operate with a failure quota. To do this effectively, you must setup a quota for the specific number of times you intend to get rejected or hear “NO.”
Yes, the change I’m suggesting is radically different from what you’re used to. However, the problem with your way and focusing on “YES” goals is what tends to happen when we reach them and achieve success. We actually slow down, become less motivated and reduce the number of calls or presentations we make. We shut down the activities that led to sales success!
How “YES” goals only lead to complacency
Take Bill for example. Bill has had a great Monday. He went on three sales calls and CLOSED them all, going three-for-three. Now, if Bill’s quota is to make three sales for the week, what do you think is going to happen to the number of calls he’s going to make over the next four days?
I bet you twenty bucks that Bill slows down and significantly reduces the number of calls he makes. In fact, Bill may end the week with exactly the number of sales he had already achieved on Monday afternoon… THREE! And in the blink of an eye a great day turned into just an average week.
Because Bill was operating with “YES” goals rather than “NO” Goals.
And the worst part of what Bill has done is he’s just ended what is commonly referred to as a “hot streak!” It’s amazing how sales executives hit a hot streak, have a string of successes and then immediately slow down their production to stay within their comfort zone.
When you’re hot, don’t stop! Keep going! Take advantage of your sales momentum!
Now, let’s look at what would have happened if BILL set “NO” Goals rather than “YES” goals. Let’s say that, traditionally, Bill makes three sales calls a day, four days a week, with the fifth day being spent in the office.
Monday he would have gone out on three calls. And when he closed all three sales he would have then said to himself: “Let’s see, my “NO” goal for the week is 12. Monday is gone and I haven’t gotten a single “NO” yet! Wow! I’m behind! I must step up the number of calls for the next four days if I’m going to hit my “No” goal of 12!”
This time Bill’s sales success will lead to an increased number of sales calls.
And what do you think would happen now?
Bill is going to obliterate his sales goal not only for the week, but also for the month, quarter and the year.
So, should you ditch your success quotas entirely?
If your fixation on your “YES” goals is fooling you into thinking that by merely having the goal you are somehow making progress toward them, then yes I’m suggesting that you get rid of your “YES” goals entirely. Shift your attention exclusively to behaviors necessary to achieving even higher sales performance. This includes setting “NO” goals! Because when you focus on going for “NO” you will achieve higher results. The YESSES will come. They always do!