Selling in a tough economy seems more challenging, doesn’t it? And yet, many people are not feeling the pinch as much as others. How can you ensure you prosper during these times? With action! I am writing a series of articles on what you can do to ensure your sales success isn’t derailed. And I’m not going to make you wait for it all to be done!

This is the first in a series of posts with practical tips and ideas for you to ensure a great end to 2008 and a prosperous 2009. The ideas and tips won’t help you if you don’t take action on them…today!

The first tip is to Set Goals. In the past month many of my “students” have told me that they CAN’T set goals because everything is changing and they aren’t sure what tomorrow holds. What? That is WHY we should set goals! So we don’t get caught in reactionary activities and then don’t get where we want (and deserve) to be. To get us thinking, a quote by Diane Scharf Hunt…”Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Who couldn’t use a little dreaming today?

Following is a goal process to implement right now…really, RIGHT now, take out a piece of paper and writing instrument and make 5 columns on the page:

1. In the left column write at least 5 things you want to happen in the next 60 days. These are outcomes like “I have one meaningful sales appointment each work day.” or “I am closing $___ in business each week.” These are now goal statements.

2. Look at each statement- what actions do you need to take to get there? Write 2-3 actions for each outcome in the 2nd column.

3. Write a specific time/date when you will take that action in the 3rd column. Is it each day? Week? How often?

4. Next identify your reward for completing those actions. Think through the BENEFIT of completing the action that leads you to the goal or outcome. Will you sleep better? Will there be self satisfaction? A treat like a special coffee or candy? Be prepared to “reward” yourself with what you write. Write these in the 4th column.

5. And in the 5th column write the name of a stakeholder for this goal or outcome. A stakeholder is someone that will care about this outcome – it might be a manager, a spouse, a colleague, a friend. You may have different stakeholders for each goal.

Now look at this paper – you have at least 5 goals and a plan of action in the next 60 days to get there! Congratulations.

What’s next? Taking action! The first is to share the goal with your stakeholders as they may be able to:
1. Clarify the outcome.
2. Identify other actions that can get you there quicker or easier.
3. Help you in some way to achieve the goal.
4. Celebrate your progress and ultimate success!
5. Add accountability.

The rest of the tips I share in the next weeks may (and should) become actions for you to add to this Goal paper. For today, this is a GREAT start.

Did you get this completed? Tell us your reaction to having these items on paper!