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What are your goals this year?

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Writing sales plans? Setting goals? Who has time for all that? You do!

Perhaps you don’t want to write a sales plan and set goals because then you’ll have to do the work necessary to accomplish them. Or, maybe you think “I’ll get to it later,” and later never comes.

Like anything else in life, when you work it, it works. Walk by the gym and observe how many people have decided to get in their daily work out. Unfortunately, observing other people working out gets you nowhere. If you want to achieve the results you desire, you must actually get in there, climb onto the gym equipment and start sweating.

Develop your 30-minute sales plan. So here’s my simple sales plan; it takes less than 30 minutes to write. It begins with my business-development strategy for the year and includes specific tactics to implement the plan. I write my plan, then set and share my goals with lots of people. (Except my revenue goals—that’s none of their business.) Telling others my plans not only keeps me accountable but also helps me clarify my objectives.

By sharing my goals, I discover whether they are:

  • Clear
  • Understandable
  • Doable
  • Too aggressive
  • Too easy

The whole is the sum of its parts. Once I finalize my yearly goals, I create weekly goals. Each week I decide what I want to accomplish, who I want to thank and who I miss talking to. Weekly goals make things much more manageable, and I am less likely to forget them. I review my goals each month and make regular adjustments. (Yes, goals are made to be changed.)

Your #1 goal: referrals. Your most critical goal is your referral-marketing goal. Make referral selling your sales-prospecting priority. Fully commit to referral selling and eliminate unproductive prospecting techniques. Remember: If you can get a meeting with a prospect who wants to meet you, you can convert that prospect into a new client more than 50 percent of the time. And even more exciting, you can reduce the cost of selling and shorten the time it takes to obtain a new client.

When you work your referral program, you will achieve results—new clients, increased sales, a shortened sale timeline, reduced costs and more time to work with your ideal clients. So write your plan and set your goals. There’s no time to waste!

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Joanne Black is a professional sales speaker, sales webinar leader, and author of ‘No More Cold Calling: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust” from Warner Business Books. Visit © Copyright 2011 Joanne S. Black. All rights reserved.