Ask Dew: Is it OK to Celebrate a Barely Missed Sales Goal?

Dew: Our sales goal last month was $750,000 in new business. We missed it by $4,500. Is it OK to celebrate a barely missed sales goal? -Connie

Dart Board Missing Bulls-eye Missed Sales Goals

Connie, hopefully your sales goals are aggressive enough that if you almost hit them, you will still be very productive. But it’s also important to make sure your goals have specific meaning if you want your future goals to have the right motivation attached to them.

Celebrate Your Success

If you have a great month, quarter, or year – then it’s important to celebrate that success. But not to the degree that you would have if you had hit that goal (otherwise, what’s the point of the specific goal?).

That’s why I like to tie specific rewards to goals, even if I am just rewarding myself. So if I miss my sales goal, but still have an overall great month, I’ll take a moment to celebrate my success – but I won’t give myself that reward. That’s how my company and team rewards work, too.

Missed Goals as Motivation

The year before last, one of my coaching clients barely missed her annual $1,000,000 sales goal by less than $7,000. She was practically devastated. I tried to get her to celebrate that she came so close, but for her, close was not good enough.

However, instead of moping, she went into this past year with a new level of determination; she promised herself that she’d never miss her $1,000,000 goal again. She tracked her activity constantly and knew at the end of every month if she was on target. Then she called  me on December 12th to tell me she had already hit her goal (she was so excited, I could barely understand her). She ended the year at 124% of her goal – and I have no doubt she will crush her goal again this year. The sting of that barely missed sales goal will be her motivation for years to come.

Learn to Celebrate Activity

So when’s the best time to celebrate your success? Every day!

There are two different affirmations that I ask my clients to repeat when they’re not seeing the direct success from their efforts. Both of them are designed to celebrate the activity – not the result.

  • I can make 10 sales today or I can make 0. It doesn’t matter. It’s not the results, but my attitude that makes or breaks my career. And at the end of every single day I can look at myself in the mirror and know that I tried my hardest, and I did my very best.
  • My job is to make a list and to cross people off that list. Some will say yes, some will say no, but I need both to have a great day. Some will, some won’t – so what? Who’s next, who’s next, who’s next?

Honor the goals that you set. But if you’ve done your best every single day, then celebrate your success. Activity breeds activity. If you’re doing the activity, then the results will come.

Until next time – go sell some stuff!

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