Many of us in business have heard the phrase, “Think it and it will happen”. I personally like to believe in the power of thought and the positivity it creates, but not everything in business works by just thinking it and setting business goals is one of them. After all did you know that the average human has between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts per day, so there is a higher degree of certainty that your goals and targets will become jumbled up in everyday thought. How many of us lose our car keys or forget what we’ve ordered in a restaurant? On top of that people with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve than those people without.

I’m a big believer in making sure your targets are meaningful, and it’s been a long-time passion of mine to help sales professionals, teams and business owners create those targets. But I realise that sometimes creating targets aren’t without an element of frustration.

How do I set a meaningful target?

The word that jumps out is meaningful, not achievable.

I remember when I worked for Shell, my role was to work with and sell to power plants. As you can imagine there aren’t that many within the UK that I can sell to, so when one ceased to operate my expectation was that I would be allowed to adapt and change my target for that year. After all it’s not like you can suddenly stumble upon a power station, not in a long-term contract. But my targets weren’t adapted, and I spent the remainder of that year with a target I knew I couldn’t reach. I lost faith in that target, it wasn’t meaningful and because of that I never had the mindset to reach it.

When setting your targets, think about not only the goal you need but if you also have the desire to reach it.

Worried that having a meaningful target will change the way I do business.

Sometimes our short-term targets must reflect an element of sales, a target that allows us to live our lives comfortably and continue in business. But remember it is your business and because of this you are able to bring your own ethos and purpose to the goals you set. When part of your business strategy you can continue to keep an eye on your long-term goal making sure you stay true to your values. Also, note that goals shouldn’t only be just set around sales, maybe you desire to achieve a certain behaviour in your business, such as unparalleled customer service or consistent 5-star reviews.

What if I don’t hit my target?

This comes down to bad sales management, be that from a manager or the way you manage yourself. You are an asset in your business that needs to be nurtured and given room to grow. So not having the right meaningful targets can be a double-edged sword.

Too high and it is hard to build that belief and motivation to succeed meaning you’ll always fall short. Too low and you’ll never really challenge yourself enough to become motivated and succeed. I do appreciate the phase “shoot for the stars and you’ll hit the moon” but for this to work you need to have calculated the distant to at least hit the moon before thinking about the beyond. This comes back to your business and sales strategy.

Finding the balance between hitting your goal and personal development.

Take time off!

Not many of my peers ever told me to take time off but taking half a day per week to spend on yourself and reflect will make a difference to you, your personal development, your business and the ability to hit those targets. This doesn’t have to be anything as elegant as walking along a beach or trekking within the Peak District, but it might be attending a seminar or grabbing a coffee with friends, family or another business owner sometimes even alone. The aim is to think about your own personal desires and goals. Are you on track? Are you where you need to be? Does something need to change? On occasion don’t be afraid to put yourself above the business. Remember for some of us we are the business.

business goal setting

If you’re interested in setting meaningful sales targets to help get your business to the next level, then take advantage of my free download. You can do this by signing up to receive my weekly sales and mindset blog. This download will help you effectively create a focussed and efficient set of targets for the continued and consistent growth of your business.

One step further. Head over to my Sales Mindset Coach website and view the various range of products available to help you in your sales journey, from live events,  free social media groups, and online courses! There’s something for even the smallest business and there is really no reason you cannot start improving your sales today!