6 Ways Setting Goals Will Help You Increase Sales

Chances are pretty high that, at some point in your working life, you have been in a position where you were expected to sell a product to a customer.  Whether you were working as an insurance broker, a real estate agent, or a retail associate attending events where you demonstrate the usefulness of your product to a group of potential buyers, nearly all of us have found ourselves in the position of trying to convince another person to buy something.  Although some of us are more naturally relatable than others, sales is not something that simply comes easy, even to the most relatable person. 

Fortunately, there are ways to help you learn the tricks of the trade.  Sure there are plenty of seminars and books written by successful salesman that you can read anytime, and admittedly there is plenty of useful information to be gained from such material.  But one of the simplest ways to help drive your sales productivity is by setting your own professional goals. 

Here are 6 ways you can set goals that will help you become a better salesman.     

1. Learn to know the product you are selling. 

When you first begin your position in sales, the first thing you should do is consider your position: what is the product that I am selling? and how does it make me money?  The latter is probably the biggest concern for most people, but the former is likely the most vital to your success. 

If you do not know the product you are selling, or worse, you do not believe or are not convinced by the product, then you simply cannot sell it.  Your disbelief and lack of passion in what you are selling will show in your presentation and the customer will be much less likely to believe this is something they need to buy.  Be sure you know your product through and through.  This will make it easier for you to relate the usefulness of the product to each individual that you encounter. 

2. Find the customers that are interested in your product.

Trying to sell a product to a person that has absolutely no use for it is like trying to sell a pen to a person with no hands: it makes absolutely no sense.  Before you go out and waste your time trying to pitch as many people as you possibly can with the meager hope that someone will buy from you, do yourself a favor.  Seek out customers that actually have a need for your product.

Whether you are selling to an individual or to a business, knowing how your customer will uniquely utilize your product is key to your success in selling it.  Do a little research on the company and understand their product or service, as well as their mission statement.  What their overall end goal is and how your product or service can help them achieve it will go a long way in helping you to sell it. 

3. Set and understand your own financial goals. 

Understanding how your company will pay you for selling their product is crucial to your own financial wellbeing and can actually help you formulate your own professional and financial goals.  Some companies will offer a base salary or hourly rate with the stipulation that you meet a sales quota each month, but others will pay a higher commission rate and avoid a base payment all together.  If this is the case use it to your advantage. 

For example, many people working in real estate or insurance sales are often paid on commissions, meaning that the company pays them a certain percentage of the total dollar value they gained for the product that you sold.  Knowing your commission rate, ask yourself, “How much do I want to make each week/month/year?”  Once you know your financial goals and also your closing ratio, you can calculate by day, week, or month, how many people you need to get in front of in order to meet your goal. 

4. Become skilled at reading and then relating to your audience. 

Sales can put you into a variety of different scenarios; you can find yourself presenting your product one-on-one to a single customer or a small group of customers, or doing a full-on presentation in front of a panel of buyers. Whatever the case may be, the numbers do not really matter.  Its how you relate to your audience that will convince them to buy your product.

When you present to an individual, it is sometimes better to just present by way of a natural conversation; being direct and insightful and using what you learn about them from conversation will help you relate to them on a more personal level and they will, in turn, build trust in you.  Being passionate and excitable in a larger group presentation, however, is a different story.  Using things like humor and real-life situations while presenting the product will impress your showmanship and relatability on your audience.  Remember, if you are more interesting, your product becomes more interesting. 

5. Utilize learning materials and personal experience to your benefit. 

Most companies have their employees participate in quarterly seminars or participate in continued learning activities throughout the course of the year.  These kinds of activities can be beneficial, but you should also consider your own interests and experience when trying to improve your position. 

If you want to learn more about your profession and how you can improve yourself, draw from your personal experience.  Try recording your presentation and then going back and listening to it later.  Then write down things you think you need to work to improve, like the tone of your voice, your product knowledge, or relating the product to the customer.  You can also find a successful role model in your field to model yourself after and read materials they have published that draws from their experience.  

6. Learn how to keep a positive attitude. 

We learn a lot from our successes, but we can learn even more from our mistakes.  When you fail to sell a customer, or something else happens like they cancel the appointment or call to ask you to reschedule, just say, “Next.”  If you can learn to make a negative into a positive, your skills will immediately begin to improve.

Instead of whining about being blown-off, make some phone calls or even do a community outreach activity.  I’m not suggesting you break any ‘No-Soliciting’ laws, but simply passing out your business cards to businesses you think might need your product can help you build public awareness, and you may run into someone that wants to hear more about your product or company.  Opportunity can arise in the most unexpected places, so try to always be prepared.