Setting a goal is easy.  Anyone can decide they want to do something and set a goal.  

However, all goals are not the same, and most goals are never achieved.  When it comes to goals and achievement, most salespeople don’t correctly use these powerful principles to their advantage.  Let me take a few moments and outline ten basic steps of goal setting.  The proper application of these principles will dramatically improve your sales success.

Step #1:  Choose goals that excite you.  Nothing is so motivating as a goal that unleashes passion.  Too often salespeople take a passive approach to goal setting and find themselves pursuing goals they don’t really care about.  Once you have selected your goal, find a picture.  We are all visual and nothing is so convincing as a picture.  Psychologists tell us a picture is worth a thousand words.  Find a picture that represents the achievement of your goal and look at it daily.

Step #2:  Determine if the goal you have selected is one of value to you and your personal success.  Review the positive aspects of achieving your goal and then evaluate the negative aspects of reaching your goal.  Then take the opposite view and review the positive aspects of not pursuing that goal and then evaluate the negative aspects of not achieving the goal.  You want to make sure the goal has value before you commit time and effort towards its achievement.

Step #3:  Once you have determined the goal is in harmony with your objectives and you are committed to the time and effort to achieve it, write a positive, present tense affirmation relating to the achievement of the goal.  Write down the names of those people who inspire you and would be proud of your achievement.  List the names of a few people who might not believe you could reach your goal and focus on proving them wrong.  Finally, tell those who you are close to about your goal and give them periodic updates on your progress.

Step #4:  Without a “time frame” for completion, a goal is just a wish.  Determine a realistic completion date and work towards completing the goal by that date.  Remember, Someday is not a real day.  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc, but never Someday.  Someday is another word for never.

Step #5:  Goals must be achievable, realistic and challenging.  It is far better to aim a little bit lower and achieve the goal than to aim too high and fall short, even if in both cases the same result is achieved.  In the first case you were successful.  In the latter, you failed even though the results were the same.  Don’t program your mind for failure.  Once the goal has been achieved, set a super goal.  A super goal represents that “little bit more” you can achieve after having reached your goal.

Step #6:  Lack of determining the steps necessary to achieve a goal is the major reason for failure.  You have all heard the way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time.  The same is true with achieving goals.  Once you have determined your goal, break it into small steps.  Give each step a time frame then move forward one step at a time until you have achieved your goal.

Step #7:  Just because you have set a goal doesn’t mean you are capable of achieving it without the proper training or education.  Make learning and training part of the goal achievement process.  Consult those who have previously accomplished your goal or something similar.  Take advantage of the knowledge and wisdom of others to achieve your goals.

Step #8:  Plan time each day for the achievement of your goals.  Too often people become so focused on the day-to-day urgencies associated with their employment that they forget to plan time to accomplish the specific steps of their goals.  Without proper daily planning you will never find the time to reach your goals.

Step #9:  Create a structure of accountability relating to your goal.  It is not good enough to just be accountable to yourself.  Involve family, friends, co-workers and anyone else you feel comfortable with in the steps and achievement of your goals.  You will find strength and courage when you involve others.  A definition of courage is “Doing what you say you will do even when the emotions of the moment are past.”

Step #10:  Goals are achieved mentally before they are ever achieved physically.  The world of sports is a very good analogy for winning first in your mind and then on the field of play.  Envision yourself achieving your goal and then your physical actions will follow.  In the Law of Success, Napoleon Hill’s first book, he describes the insight he gained from his research into the power of goal setting.  He said, “Any definite chief aim that is deliberately fixed in the mind and held there with determination to realize it, finally saturates the entire subconscious mind until it automatically influences the physical action of the body toward the attainment of the purpose.”