Success Starts With Goal Setting

It is a proven fact that most people spend more time planning their two week vacation then they do planning their life. One of the reasons people spend so much time planning their vacation is they know it’s a fixed period time that has a start and end date and they want to make the most of every minute.

Often overlooked is the fact that life has a start and end date too. Why not approach life the same way as a vacation? To make the most of life, you have to plan. Very few things happen by happenstance. Success starts with knowing what you want to achieve, have, be, and do.

People are happiest when they are in pursuit of something. Having and setting goals paints a clear picture of what you want to go after. Even though human beings are happiest when they are seeking a goal, human beings are not as hot wired to set goals. To be a goal setter you first have to learn how to set goals and then develop the habit of setting goals.

You may have heard that goals need to be SMART.

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time bound

In order for a goal to be a goal, it has to meet the SMART criteria. It seems simple enough, but you have to really decide what you want in order for a goal to meet the above criteria. The really hard part (if there us a hard part) is deciding what you want to achieve. It’s easy to think in nebulous terms and flowery abstract dreams, concepts, and ideas. When you have to get specific and nail it down, this can be quite challenging.

Most people go through life never living up to their full potential. At the core of this under achievement is failure to first decide what they want and secondly to take action. This is sad, but it happens to a lot of people and a lot of talented people.

If you don’t have goals for the important areas of your life, start setting some right now. You can have goals for your career, family, personal achievement, and any area of your life that is important to you.

Make the most of your time here. Start planning what you want to achieve.

What Is Value?

I hear over and over again about how sales people are not able to sell the value they have versus the competition. You know how it goes, “I couldn’t get the deal because my competition’s price was so much lower than mine that I just couldn’t compete.” Capturing value seems to be one of the hardest things sales people have to do. Understanding value and what knowing what creates value is the starting point to competing effectively against your competition.

Value is a perception. You’ve heard the saying: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Value is in the eye of the beholder. So if you think your product or service inherently has value, you are mistaken. It only has value to someone who recognizes and appreciates the value. A good definition from a sales perspective is: value is perceived benefit minus perceived cost. So what shapes the perception of value?

Perceived value is determined by scarcity. Gold is valuable not because of its chemical composition but because it is scarce. You just can’t walk down the street and pick up a gold nugget or two. If you could, gold wouldn’t be valuable. Therefore, if you want to increase the value of your product or service, you have to show how it is unique. There are many ways to create a unique value proposition. You must understand the competitive alternatives available to your prospect. Then you can determine what makes your solution unique. Don’t overlook small things that you may think are not be important. It could be the smallest thing that creates the most value.

Creating value begins with understanding value. Unless you can show the uniqueness on each sale, you will always fall into the trap of having to focus on price. After all, if everything else is equal, the only thing left to compare is price. Always create the situation where your prospect is comparing an apple and a grape.

Attitudes and Winning The Sales Game

Winning the sales game is not just about having the skills to be successful in the sales game.  Sales skills are very important and necessary to be successful in sales, but your attitude will ultimately make the difference in you being at the top in your industry.  I’m sure this is not the first time you have heard that attitude is everything.  The question is: do you know what an attitude is and secondly, do you know how to develop new attitudes?

What is an Attitude?

Almost every motivational sales speaker talks about attitudes.  You probably hear it at your company about having great attitudes.  Even Patti LaBelle said “I’ve got a new attitude.”  So what is an attitude?  Simply stated, attitudes are habits of thought.  When Napoleon Hill gave this definition he was dead on.  We all have habitual ways of thinking.  In fact, almost everything we do, some say up to 98%, on a daily basis is done out of habit.  How many times have you left work with the intention of making a stop to pick up something on the way home and found yourself at home without having picked up what you wanted?  That’s because you go home from work by habit.

The same is true for our habitual ways of thinking.  We have a situation, and we have a habitual thought process about that situation. When our habitual thought patterns or attitudes don’t empower us or take us closer to our goals, that’s when we need to have a change in our attitudes.  Some examples of disempowering attitudes for sales people could be: my marketplace is horrible, nobody can sell to that prospect, I can’t meet my sales quota, or life sucks.  You get the picture.  What is holding you back are all of those disempowering habits of thought that you have, not the marketplace, prospects, your company, etc.

How to Change Attitudes

One of the reasons that thinking is so negative these days is we are bombarded with negative news.  If you read the newspaper or watch the news on TV, you get a healthy dose of negative. How can you change your attitudes in the face of all the negative stuff?  The fist step is to realize that you have control over what you think about.  It takes effort and could be one of the hardest things you will ever do, but you do have control over what you think.  To aid you in controlling what you think, watch what you put in your mind.  You may need to cut back on some of your news intake.  Why not read something positive instead, listen to a positive recording, or meditate?  By putting positive in your brain, you don’t take the negative out.  It’s still there.  What you are doing is expanding your thinking.  The more positive you put in, the more positive your thinking will be.

Like it or not, we are creatures of habit.  Not in just what we do, but also in how we think.  That means in order to develop the habit of positive intake, you will have to literally force yourself to do it until it is a habit.  How long will it take?  I don’t know.  However long it takes it’s worth it.  The results you will see in your improved performance and outlook on life will be well worth the effort you expend.  Why not go for it?