The First Goal In My Selling Career
I was 32 years of age, training as a salesman in advertising, when I first learned about goal setting. For as long as I can remember I always had three desires:
1) To have a large house
2) To own a Rolls-Royce motor car
3) And make £1,000,000 pounds
But that’s all they were, just desires. One evening while I was a rookie salesman I was at a lecture and the lecturer spoke at length about “the magic of goals”.
This was the trigger for me to set my first goal.
The goal that I set was to go for promotion in the advertising career that I was just starting.
I wanted a job similar to the one my boss had.
He was a Classified Advertisement Manager and he seemed to have a much better lifestyle than me.
So a job like his, became my goal.
The next morning I asked for a meeting with my manager and told him that my goal was to get a job like his.
I asked him to outline for me the progress I would have to make in order to earn such a position.
He was a bit taken aback at this, but he thought about it for a while, and then spelled out a series of steps that I would have to go through.
First I would have to become the best salesman on the team. Then I would have to learn how to train other salesman, after this I would have to enter the telesales department and become an accomplished telesales person, then move on to the position of telesales trainer and manager.
Once this was accomplished I would move back into the field as an assistant manager to help run both the sales team and the telesales operation.
If I succeeded at all of these stages I would then be considered for a post as a classified ad manager.
I listened to him intently and wrote down everything he said. As he was describing the process, I formed an impression of the time it would take. I could see it rolling forward to take about four or five years. I thanked him for his time and asked him to note that this was the way I was going to go. At that time I was working with Estate Agents, selling adverts into the property pages of the Newspapers.
Within a few months I became top salesman and went on through every stage of the process, it seemed “as if by magic.”
Just 25 months later I was appointed as advertisement manager to another of Thompson’s Newspapers.
If I had not attended that lecture, and believed what I had been told, I would never have reached that goal or any of the others that I have achieved since.
One of the reasons that people avoid setting goals is the fear of failure. Another is that we fear being criticised, particularly by people we associate with.
This fear may have been established early in life. As a child you might have said that when you grow up you wanted to be a fireman or a policeman or whatever. The adults around may have laughed and replied “don’t be silly that’s not possible” or “you don’t want to do that”. So you grow into adulthood hiding your wishes to avoid criticism and you might never express what it is, that you really want to do.
Alternatively because there is always resistance to change, people will talk you out of doing something they feel is going to change you, or how you relate to them.
Sometimes it upsets people to hear Sometimes it upsets people to hear about your goals, particularly if they don’t have their own goals. It makes them feel less than equal and can result in them putting you down or ridiculing you.
People who fear failure will not embark on the road to achieving anything. The irony is they don’t understand what failure is, and they don’t realise that without failure no success of any kind is possible.
If you continually avoid failure you cannot succeed.
Successful people will fail many times in their endeavours to obtain their final success. The secret is to fail in a positive manner, to learn from the experience and move on.
Step back and examine the failure, ask yourself what you can learn from this experience and then put your goal seeking mechanism back on course.
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