By Roger P. Levin, DDS
As a sales representative, how do you define success? Do you have a clear idea of your personal definition of success? Once defined, do you have a roadmap of how to get there?
Every sales representative will answer these questions differently. Some may have the goal of earning enough money to retire early. Other sales representatives may want to generate $500,000 in new business over the next year. Whatever your answers, asking these questions is the first step toward goal setting. Without a doubt, setting goals is the best way to focus and concentrate on achieving what is most important to you.
How to achieve your goals
To be highly successful, what goals should you set? Goal setting should be broken down into three categories:
- Identify what is most important
- Set short–term goals
- Set long–term goals
Step 1: Identify what is most important
Many sales representatives have a list of things they would like to accomplish, both in their careers and their personal lives. But how many of these goals will be accomplished if they are never discussed, documented, or pursued? You may want to generate $500,000 in new business over the next year, but have you thought about how to make that happen? You may also have more personal goals, such as going on an exotic vacation or buying a particular kind of a car. No matter what goals you have, you need to assess what’s important to you.
These questions are answered by creating a vision. Write down the 20 things you want to accomplish during your life. Even if the goals seem frivolous or unreachable at the time, write them down anyway.
Step 2: Set short–term goals
The next step is to identify which of these 20 things are short–term goals, which means you can achieve them during the next 12 months. For example, let’s assume you have a new business goal of $1 million over the next year. If your average sales size is $35,000, you need to make about 29 sales, or 2.5 sales per month to achieve your goal. It’s important to break down your large goal into smaller monthly or weekly increments that are achievable. Reaching a short–term goal shows progress in the drive toward accomplishing all of your goals. Once that process begins, the excitement of accomplishing goals becomes your primary motivator. As a result, achieving your long–term goals will feel much more within your reach.
Step 3: Set long–term goals
Long–term goals will take longer than one year to accomplish. These are goals that should help define your lifetime plan, both personally and professionally. Some of your long–term goals might include starting a college fund for your children or accumulating enough savings to retire by age 60.
Like short–term goals, these long–term goals will vary by individual, and there are no right or wrong answers. Review these goals monthly to evaluate your progress.
How to reinforce your goals
Successful sales representatives learn how to continually reinforce their long– and short–term goals to keep motivation high. Some suggestions are:
- Make lists and keep records
- Record daily progress, then list three critical things to do the next day
- Find a way to reward yourself after completing important or tedious tasks
- Update your goals constantly based on your real results
- Share your goals with people you respect
Outlining goals and acting on them every day enables sales representatives to concentrate on achieving what’s important to them. Defining and then focusing on short– and long–term goals is a major step toward improving your personal and professional life. Part of becoming successful is knowing what to aim for. When sales representatives set goals, they’re in a much better position to be absolutely clear about their targets – daily, monthly and yearly.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is founder and CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm that is dedicated to improving the lives of dentists through a diverse portfolio of lifetime services and solutions. Since the company’s inception in 1985, Dr. Levin has worked to bring the business world to dentistry. Levin Group may be reached at (888) 973–0000, or at www.levingroup.com.
Editor’s Note: The company below is an independent manufacturers group company in Canada which also has another office in Tianjin, China. The company was incorrectly listed in the September issue of Proofs as an international distributor. We apologize for the error.
Canadian & International Independent Representative Groups
Au–Shaw Dental Productions Inc.
4–7581 Jane Street
Concord ON L4K1X3
Tel: (905) 669–4533
Fax: (905) 669–8656
David Goldshaw L.B.I.S.T., President
Steve Fredette, Vice President
Ann Choi, International Sales
Ken Zhao, China Sales
China Office – 16–4–301 TianHua Li, Hua Yuan Xiao Qu, NanKai District
TianJin, China 300384
Description: Toronto “Hands–On” training center, sales supporting Canadian distributors, technical education in dentistry, sales meetings, co–travelling, seminars, and conventions.