Michelangelo, Sales Manager
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.—Michelangelo
Michelangelo knew a thing or two about sculpting, painting, and architecture, but he was never in sales. If he was, he’d know that this does not apply in our world.
Okay, I get it. I see his point: Set your goals really high and even if you fall short you’ll likely still have achieved more than if you had chosen a lesser goal. There is also an element of chutzpah here that tells us to be bold and brazen and not to be limited by, well, limitations.
But there’s a rub.
Let’s say you want to set a daily sales activity goal. According to Il Divino (the divine one), we should go for the gold and aim high. Applying his thinking, we set our goal at 10. That is, we will strive to make a minimum of 10 sales calls a day. Unless you are brand-new to sales and have nothing to do but stay on the phone all day, that’s a lofty goal in a Sistine Chapel kind of way.
Still, for one full month, we set out to hit that number. Unfortunately, day after day, we end up short making only, say, seven calls a day.
Now, seven sales calls a day is nothing to sneeze at. That's quite an accomplishment if you can achieve it on a consistent basis. However, if your goal was 10, you'd end every day thinking to yourself, "I failed."
What if we ignored the advice of the Renaissance Man and made our sales goals something more reasonable, like five. By Michelangelo's standards, we've settled and gone for a number easily achievable. But let's see how it plays out…
How do those seven calls a day look now? If your goal was five and you hit seven, you have exceeded expectations by 40 percent. This time, your day ends with happy feelings of success, having once again not only hit your mark but raced right past it.
The crazy part is this: In both cases, you’ve made the same number of sales goals: seven. The only thing that is different is your attitude towards them. Which do you think would have a more powerful impact on your sales: coming from a place of success or from one of failure?
Look, I’m not saying you should aim low. I am all for the crazy-high goal approach to things like personal income and sales volume, but by making your sales activity goals reasonable and achievable, the results (and your attitude towards them) actually propel you towards a higher quality call, which turns into better appointments and ultimately, more sales.
Lie on your back and ponder that one, Mikey.
Bill Farquharson is a Vice President at NAPL. His training programs can drive the sales of print reps and selling owners. Check out his Sales Resources page and contact him at (781) 934-7036 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Farquharson is a respected industry expert and highly sought after speaker known for his energetic and entertaining presentations. Bill engages his audiences with wit and wisdom earned as a 40-year print sales veteran while teaching new ideas for solving classic sales challenges. Email him at email@example.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault, are available at salesvault.pro.