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Higher Sales Performance: A Radical New Approach to Setting Sales Goals and Achieving Outrageous Results!

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Every sales executive has heard how important it is to set sales goals. Don't worry. I'm not going to bore you with an explanation of why you should set sales goals. But I am going to suggest a somewhat radical change to the way you currently set goals so you can achieve higher sales performance. And that radical change is this:

Beginning right now, stop setting "YES" goals that revolve around results and productivity, and start setting "NO" goals instead.

Yes, you heard me right. I'm proposing that you immediately stop focusing on the number of sales you intend to make or dollars you intend to generate. You will achieve higher sales success when you operate with a failure quota. To do this effectively, you must set a quota for the specific number of times you intend to get rejected or hear "NO."

Yes, the change I'm suggesting is radically different from what you're used to. However, the problem with focusing on "YES" goals is what tends to happen when we reach them and achieve success. We actually slow down, become less motivated, and reduce the number of calls or presentations we make. We shut down the activities that led to sales success!

How "YES" Goals Only Lead to Complacency

Take Bill, for example. Bill has had a great Monday. He went on three sales calls and closed them all, going three for three. Now, if Bill's quota is to make three sales per week, what do you think is going to happen to the number of calls he's going to make over the next four days?

I'll bet you 20 bucks that Bill slows down and significantly reduces the number of calls he makes. In fact, Bill may end the week with exactly the number of sales he has already achieved by Monday afternoon...THREE! And in the blink of an eye, a great day will have turned into just an average week.


Because Bill was operating with "YES" goals rather than "NO" goals.

The worst part of what Bill has done is that he's just ended what is commonly referred to as a "hot streak"! It's amazing how sales executives will hit a hot streak, have a string of successes, and then immediately slow down their production to stay within their comfort zone.

When you're hot, don't stop! Keep going! Take advantage of your sales momentum!

Now, let's look at what would have happened if Bill had set "NO" goals rather than "YES" goals. Let's say that, traditionally, Bill makes three sales calls a day, four days a week, with the fifth day being spent in the office.

Monday, he would have gone out on three calls. And when he closed all three sales, he would have then said to himself, "Let's see, my "NO" goal for the week is 12. Monday is gone, and I haven't gotten a single "NO" yet! Wow! I'm behind! I must step up the number of calls for the next four days if I'm going to hit my "NO" goal of 12!"

In this scenario, Bill's sales success would have led to an increased number of sales calls.

And what do you think would have happened at this point?

Bill likely would have proceeded to obliterate his sales goal not only for the week but also for the month, quarter, and year.

So, should you ditch your success quotas entirely?

If your fixation on your "YES" goals is fooling you into thinking that by merely having them, you are somehow making progress toward them, then, yes, I'm suggesting that you get rid of your "YES" goals entirely. Shift your attention exclusively to behaviors necessary to achieving even higher sales performance. This includes setting "NO" goals—because when you focus on going for "NO," you will achieve higher results. The "YES"es will come. They always do!

About the Author:

Sales motivation expert Richard Fenton is the author of "Go for No," a short, powerful story written specifically for organizations and professionals just like you who must learn how to face failure and rejection to be successful. For more free cutting-edge ideas and strategies to help you achieve higher sales performance and double, triple, or even quadruple your sales, go to and sign up for the free e-zine, ROAR!
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