Every year we receive our sales goals for the upcoming season, and every year that feeling of panic sets in. “Will I hit it? What if I fall short? Another year of high stress…what should I do?” Sometimes we even wonder if we are cut out for sales with all the stress we put on ourselves.
Sales goals aren’t easy…they do take work. But they ARE attainable (unless totally unrealistic) and it’s up to us to figure out how. Often times we divide them by month and week and feel we’re prepared. It takes so much more than that in order to achieve where we want to be. Here are 11 steps that can help you in your preparation:
Divide your overall goal realistically. All too often, I see sales reps simply divide according to the number of months they have. Does this make sense? Are not some months closer to the season higher revenue months and some months farther out lower revenue? Then why expect the same every month? How do figure this out?…..
Know your business. If you have been there more than one season, you should be tracking types of categories and when your sales come in. Are there any you can move up? How can you move them up? Are certain categories only buying at certain months? How can you commit them earlier, even if paying later? Knowing your business, tracking your sales year after year, will enable you to divide your goals realistically.
Create a plan for renewals. As we tend to renew groups in the off-season, create a plan. How can you create urgency? What is the hook? What is your start / stop date for campaign one and campaign two? How can we re-energize instead of renew, thus bringing in additional revenue? Are we having a conversation with each and every renewal?
How can we maximize existing clients? Are we asking for renewals? Are we looking at categories and finding like categories? Have we saturated the market already or in reality simply scratched the surface? How can we grow our categories by looking at similar ones?
Divide our business by quarters instead of the year. Quarters are much more manageable to create a business plan than a year. What do you want to accomplish each month of the quarter? How? Who? Why? What is the goal? What is your plan…can you get in front of multiple people and then follow-up? What can you create that is different?
Set your goal to end two months before the season ends. Why? You can then spend the last two months prospecting and getting ahead for the coming year. Secondly, if you don’t hit it, you still have time to reach it. If you set it for the end of the season and you don’t hit it, you have nowhere to go.
Make sure you mix new business with renewals. Go out of the office. Find new business. Build new relationships.
Go after business you didn’t get last year. More often than not, we lose some business due to lack of follow-up or last-minute timing. Revisit those early in the off-season and plan for the coming year.
Set your supersize group meetings for early in the off-season. Large groups need time to prepare.
Make sure new businesses are met with prior to the end of the year. Getting into their budget is crucial. You may not get the deposit until after their budget cycle, but at least you know you are in it!
Make sure the off-season is the hardest work you will do. While everyone else thinks we sit on beaches, eating bon bons and drinking margaritas, we know that in order to not be stressed out at the end of the season is to do the hardest work during the off-season. Lay the groundwork, get deposits, meet with as many as you can, and you will be on the path for success.
Success rarely happens by chance. Success is built on planning, maximizing your time, and executing. Create your quarterly plan and pave the way to success.
Kathy Burrows, Chief Energy Officer, Sold Out Seating
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