There are two types of goals, performance-based goals and “getting better” goals. The first type includes quotas, revenue goals, etc. But it’s the second type that will actually help you achieve those things.
Performance-based goals. In sales, we tend to deal in performance-based goals, such as achieving 120 percent of quota or earning $200,000. Sometimes these types of goals can be extraordinarily motivating—if have the knowledge and skills to achieve them.
But what if you’re attempting something brand new? Or what if these goals have been imposed on you from outside and you have no say in them?
“Getting better” goals. Instead of performance goals, what you really need are “getting better” goals—those focused on gaining new knowledge, acquiring new skills, mastering the changing business landscape and increasing your confidence.
According to psychologist Don VandeWalle, salespeople with a “getting better” goal orientation actually set higher sales targets, worked harder, planned better and achieved more.
Shooting for some abstract measure of success (a performance-based goal) actually works against you. Making a sale is an outcome. It happens because how you behave in every client interaction.
So let me ask you this: What do you need to get better at? If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll probably find areas in which you could improve. By focusing on “getting better,” you’ll stand a much better chance of reaching your goals.
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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling, Selling to Big Companies and Agile Selling. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.