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The Power of Purposeful Planning in Sales Success

Personally, I am a strong advocate of hope and the power of positive thinking, but as the saying goes: Hope is not a strategy. If you’re going to advance your sales career, creating a road map and following it is key. Success in sales doesn’t just happen because someone works hard or has a sales personality. Lasting success must be planned and executed. I believe in setting goals so big that you have to grow into them—but do it in phases and definitely with a purpose.

The first step is to determine exactly what you want. Find a comfortable place with no distractions and write down your desired goals, using specific details that can be accurately measured. For example, it’s not useful to state, “I want to become the best salesperson in my company” or “I want to earn a lot of money.” Instead, state something like, “I will sell 20 3D printers by the end of this year.” Remember that when it comes to setting goals, the more specific, the better.

You must know in your head and your heart that you are capable of achieving your goals and that you are deserving of the success that will follow. Earl Nightingale is quoted as having said, “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” The subconscious mind is a powerful force, and whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’ll most likely be right in the end. Doubt has killed more dreams than failure ever has, so before targeting a sales goal, get your mindset right. Know that you can do it and that you are deserving of it.

Create an action plan that includes daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly activities that can be measured and lead you toward your annual goals. An action plan is a simple list of new habits, standards, or self-imposed rules that you are committed to following on a consistent basis. It’s the consistency and accumulation of these measurable tasks that lead you to obtain what you want. There’s never a perfect time to begin doing the work, so start right where you are—today! A month from now, you’ll be glad you did. Remember that nothing grows in the comfort zone!

Once you have your plan in place, eliminate distractions to protect your three greatest assets: your time, energy, and mindset. How well you guard these assets will determine your success. Most people are keenly aware of their biggest distractions—the challenge is exercising the self-discipline required to minimize them. Goals and distractions can rarely coexist, so when you’re ready to get serious, kick your distractions to the curb. Commit to not stopping until you’ve achieved your goals. Tenacity is one’s ability to forge ahead when tempted to quit. Anytime you feel like giving up, focus on why you started in the first place. The discomfort of pushing through is a temporary thing—but stopping short of the finish line can be far more painful and long-lasting. Before you begin, commit that you will see it to the end, regardless. Don’t give in, never give up, and give it all you’ve got—you’re worth it!

Power Quote

“I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals, and I try to ignore the rest.”

—Venus Williams

Harris, Chris. “Achieving Your Sales Goals.” “Phase Selling for Additive Manufacturing.” 2020, pp. 71-74.

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