“Angels wing it! But salespeople must prepare!”
—Zig Ziglar


I remember the first time I heard the above bit of wisdom. I was young, brash, and a little bit overconfident in my abilities to walk into any situation and make it work out to my desired conclusion. I was good with people, and I was not afraid of hard work. And, for the most part, I was achieving sales results that kept my employer happy with my performance.


I was attending a seminar, and I heard Zig Ziglar deliver that quote as he knelt down on one knee. With that big smile and slow southern drawl, he had everyone in the auditorium in the palm of his hands. And when he said it, he was looking directly at me.


His point was simple: If you are struggling now, you will overcome those struggles with proper goal setting, preparation, planning, and execution. And if you are experiencing success now, you will improve your sales performance doing the same.


Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We have all heard those words and considered how they may apply to sales techniques or training programs. But most salespeople, sales leaders, and small business owners tend to forget that this same definition of insanity applies to their goal setting as well. So think differently about setting your goals.


Avoid These Top Goal Setting Mistakes:


Setting sales goals prior to setting personal goals is a mistake. You should take the time to set your family and personal goals first. Then calculate the sales target you need to hit in order to achieve what you want for your family.


Accepting a target or quota given to you by your sales manager as your goal is a HUGE mistake. For job security, your goals should always exceed any target given to you by your company, but other than that, their target for you should be totally irrelevant. Your goals should be based on your wants and desires for your family. Surely you want more for your family than anyone else, right? So how can the goals of your company or your sales manager be high enough for you?


If you are a sales leader, waiting until you know the sum total of the goals set by those people on your team before you set your own goals is another HUGE mistake. You should spend time teaching your team how to set their goals, and then inspire them to exceed them. If you assign quotas or targets to your team, make sure the sum total of those targets exceeds your personal goals. But your goals as the sales leader should also be based on what you need to accomplish in order to provide for your personal and family desires.


Failing to share your goals with other stakeholders is a mistake. You should share your goals with your sales manager and get their coaching on how to achieve your targets. If you are a sales leader, you should share your goals with your sales team. If you have built the right chemistry and gotten the right buy-in, your goal will become their goal, and they will have an emotional attachment in achieving it.


“Set goals as if there is no way to lose.  Make plans as if there is some way to win.  Then work as if there is no going back.”

– Jeff C. West



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