Posts Tagged ‘sales goal’

In Sales, the Problem with the Word “Help”

How many times in the course of a sales day, do you read or hear “I help…?” In reviewing visitors to my LinkedIn profile, I can say over 50% of the headlines use this common verb of help.

The problem with this word is it does not differentiate you or your business from all the other people and businesses helping other people and businesses. With the very crowded marketplace and where 97.7% of all businesses have under 20 employees, differentiation is key to growing any SMB.

Sales Coaching Tip: Differentiation is essential to attracting sales leads

When any word is used too frequently, people become immune to the word.  It does not take hold in their minds and in some instances creates a negative, emotional reaction. Your sales goal should Be the Red Jacket in the Sea of Gray Suits.

There are a plethora of verbs that can be substituted for this word of help such as:

  • Facilitate
  • Build
  • Expand
  • Connect
  • Strengthen
  • Work
  • Align

Additionally a goal statement could be equally effective as in “Our Goal” is to:

  • Connect you with the right decision makers to increase sales
  • Strengthen your internal customers to reduce high, costly turnover
  • Align your people and processes to ensure efficiency, effectiveness while increasing profits

The goal statement demonstrates not only what you do, but the desired end results of your solutions. How many salespeople fail to include the results in their messaging be it their 30 second infomercial, their positioning statement or their value proposition statement?

Sales Coaching Tip: Potential customers want the end results of your solutions.

Sometimes we must rethink what we say and how what we say is received by our intended audience (think ideal customer). Words do matter and even more importantly the impact of those words really matter.

So if you are determined to use the word help, then connect it to the results of your solution.

Reach out and schedule a call with Leanne by CLICKING HERE.

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Moving Beyond Inspiration to Perspiration

Many people are inspired.  They listen to a Ted Talk, read a good book to attend a sales training event.  Yet at the end of the day or a couple of days later, that inspirational message is like dust in the wind.



Some firms look to sales training to inspire and fail to move beyond inspiration to what really makes the difference – perspiration.  Did the sales team, the sales management and even the Chief Executive Officer turn those inspiring thoughts into actions?

Recently I did a one day sales training event for a rapidly growing local small business with multiple locations.  The morning session was for the call center team and in the afternoon I repeated the training with the sales team. Both sessions included over one hour on how to use DISC Index for better communication and sales results.

The reviews of the learning engagement from all contacted were all eight or higher on a scale of one to 10. All call center team members told me the sales training was informative and inspiring. Two of the sales team used the work inspiring to describe the sales training.

After one week, I conducted a follow-up as each session as each employee was asked to set a professional sales goal either as an individual or team. What I learned was the call center team had set a pretty BHAG. Yesterday in speaking with the very happy CEO in our follow-up meeting, he shared the call center was on target to achieve this goal in possibly half the established time frame.  Their united progress was exhilarating.

As to sales team, their efforts paled in comparison.  A couple of team members never returned my voice mail follow-up call.  None of those in the sales team had set a goal.

Until people take action, inspiration remains that just words that feel good.  Taking action is where the perspiration happens and what makes sales training, sales coaching or leadership development worth the investment.

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Want to Achieve Your Sales Goals? Add this Secret!

Consistently achieving annual sales goals is a challenge.  For the last 19 years when speaking or conducting sales workshops I ask these question:


  • How many of you have not consistently achieved your sales goals?  Again anywhere from 50% to 90% of the hands are raised.
  • How many know about SMART goals?  Usually, 75% to 90% of the hands raised.
  • So if you all know about SMART goals, what is the problem?

Then I ask this question:

After you write your SMART goal, what is the next action that you take?

The standard response is action steps.  And this action is why many fail to achieve their sales goals or any goals.

Beyond the overall goal setting process, the secret to consistent goal achievement is through this one word:


The goal be it a sales goal, an organizational goal, a leadership goal or a personal goal must be emotionalized. Why? Because people are emotional creatures.  We are driven by our emotions. We make decisions based on our emotions, justified by logic.  To go immediately to action steps ignores the emotions, the emotional importance of achieving or not achieving the goal.

When salespeople invest the time to emotionalize the goals, the importance of achieving it, they are building a stronger internal motivation to achieve the goal.  Conversely, when they emotionalize the importance of not achieving it, this also helps to build emotional resiliency.

Years ago I read a study (one I did not save) that over 100 CEOS of Fortune 500 companies were asked about their motivation to achieve a goal.  I remember 47% said the failure to achieve the goal was the driving force to achieve the goal.  These individuals were not motivated by money or position. No what motivated them to achieve was the potential of failing.

So if you want to consistently achieve your sales goals now and in the future, remember to emotionalize them.  Invest that time and you just may be surprised by the results.

Possibly your goal setting worksheet doesn’t provide the opportunity to emotionalize your goals, you may find this goal setting worksheet helpful.  If you make the nominal investment of $9.97, schedule a free 30 minute by clicking HERE coaching session with me and I will walk you through this incredible tool.


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Going Beyond the Increase Sales Goal

SMBs survive and thrive because of sales.  Those incoming dollars (the increase sales goal)  keep all the gears of the organization running. When the goal of increase sales is not met, things begin to slow down and for the SMB owners stress begins to pick up.

sales-goalSuddenly the focus is no longer on the increase sales goal, but rather on:

  • How am I going to meet payroll?
  • How am I going to pay the bills?
  • How am I going to keep customers?
  • How am I going to get new customers?
  • How am I going to feed my family?

Each of these “How am I going to” add additional stress to an already crazy and very busy entrepreneur. Even if the SMB owner is a solo entrepreneur, he or she still has each of these “How am I going to.” Now the focus has changed to stop all the bleeding from these “How am I going to” stressful barriers.

Then the real question the SMB owners or executive leadership should be asking is “What’s the biggest barrier standing in the way of achieving this increase sales goal?”  And unfortunately, many SMBs owners and those on the executive leadership team fail to identify the biggest barrier.

No instead they identify the smaller barriers such as:

  • Leadership
  • Sales skills
  • Management
  • Sales process
  • Sales system (CRM)
  • Quality
  • Customer Service
  • Salespeople

The list goes on and on and on with the biggest barrier never identified and therefore never broken down. Worse yet this biggest barrier continues to grow higher and higher, wider and wider while the resources of the SMB continue to shrink. In many instances these smaller barriers become the flavor of the month because the real big barrier still exists.

When the biggest barrier to achieving the increase sales goal is discovered, then and only then can sustainable solutions be developed to take down that barrier and all the other smaller barriers. And by the way, those solutions will most likely included all the smaller more popular barriers and reduce all that unneeded stress.

Want less STRESS and better RESULTS, CLICK HERE, to schedule a 30 minute phone call.


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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver for leaders who desire a Forward Thinking Sales Culture. She supports executive leadership in bridging the sales culture gap of people and processes that restricts SMB sales results. If you want to increase sales, then call Leanne at 219.508.2859 central time USA to solve your disengaged employees and ultimately your disengaged sales culture. Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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How These 7 Steps Will Increase Sales in 2016

With the New Year of 2016 just 5 days away, now is the time to begin to increase sales.  Actually much of this probably should have been started 30 to 90 days ago, but there is still time to make 2016 far better than 2015.



Here are some steps to ensure your path to a better 2016 sales year.

Step #1 – File, Purge and Clean
First, step is to clear off your desk.  File away what is needed, purge what is not needed.  Clean your office area. This filing, purging and cleaning includes all printed publications as well as email. Oh yes and do not forget to clean up your calendar as well.

Step #2 – Update Financials
The next step is to get all your financials in order. Enter all bills, make payments if possible, record all receipts. When end of year bank statements arrive, then within a couple of hours you should have 2015 financially closed and ready to go to your accountant. To increase sales for 2016 means you must focus on present and the future not the past.

Step #3 – Review Your Outstanding Sales Leads
Exactly who is in your sales funnel or pipeline? What sales leads require immediate contact or follow-up?  What prospects did not end up as customer and why?

Step #4 – Identify New Sales Leads
Based upon the new clients you secured in 2015 and existing clients prior to 2015, what new sales leads do you wish to have enter your sales funnel? This is also the time to discern how to make contact with these decision makers who will propel toward your goal to increase sales in 2016. If you are in B2B, prospecting within LinkedIn may prove to be a valuable marketing and sales strategy.

Step 5 – Hone Your Tools
Your sales tools from your business card to your value proposition speech to your knowledge of your target market industries to even local to global trends affecting business all must be honed to the finest edge possible. To attend the first B2B networking event of the year without business cards, stumbling over the question who is your best sales lead (anyone with a pulse is not the correct answer) to having sales conversations with you sounding like a dummy will not increase sales.

As you have already cleaned out your portfolio or briefcase (see Step 1), now refresh it with your honed tools. Be prepared for that next phone call where you may have to dash out of the office. Knowing all your sales tools are in order and properly sharpened will have you looking and sounding like a top sales performer.

Step 6 – Schedule Your Calendar
Since you have already cleaned out your calendar (see Step 1), now is the time to schedule your calls.  Block out time each morning to take care of administrative work before your actual production time usually 8 am to 5pm. If you need more time, get up earlier.

Block out time to make first contact phone calls or follow up ones. Tuesdays and Thursdays from most sales research suggest to be the better days for calling.  Make a sales goal and commitment to yourself to make a minimum of 20 calls per week. Based upon your own sales numbers, you should know how many calls it will take to increase sales.

believe-in-youStep 7 – Believe in YOU
If you do not believe in yourself, the ability to increase sales is even more difficult.  Sales as Zig Ziglar said is the “transference of feelings.”  You must believe in YOU.

Some salespeople attempt to become someone else because that other person is more authentic (meaning make more money).  Each of us brings a unique perspective to the business world.  You are YOU and no one else.

When you believe in YOU, others sense that belief and it becomes like a force field of attraction. Your authentic self-leadership style attracts sales leads and centers of influence to you. Of course, a belief in YOU does not mean let your ego run while or just as bad a flow of endless sales pitches.

Remember the words of President Teddy Roosevelt, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

By following these first seven steps before midnight on December 31, 2015, you will increase sales in 2016.


If you want some additional support, give me a call at 219.508.2859 CT and take advantage of my 30 day special sales coaching package that includes:

  • The most reliable and valid psychometric assessment in the marketplace
  • MAP – My Action Plan for Sales Success (printed and snailed mail to you if you are in the continental US) otherwise emailed via PDF
  • Proven goal setting and goal achievement worksheet that works with you to increase sales
  • A review of your LinkedIn profile along with a checklist to help you refresh your profile
  • 4 Hours – 1 hour per week – of one on one sales coaching via the telephone

Your investment is probably far more affordable than you realize. By the way, that first 20-30 minute phone call is at no cost to you except for your time. If you are not happy with your 2015 results, then what are you waiting for?

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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The Often Overlooked Sales Skill

Just read another article about the top 3 sales skills.  And this one like many of the hundreds of other articles not too mention dozens of books I have read all overlook and even ignore this critical sales skill or capacity.  Possibly,there is an assumption everyone knows this and hence we do not have to mention it or  maybe we just can’t see the forest for the trees?

sales-skillMy sense is like all assumptions, you know making an ass out of you and me, this can be very dangerous.

What I know to be true is the crystal clear clarification of one’s goals; the writing of one’s personal goals; the commitment to take action on one’s goals and the flawless of execution of one’s goals is what separates top sales performers from everyone else. These are indeed the individuals ahead of the flow.  Now there will always be exceptions and if you are one of the top sales performers who does not write your goals down, then congratulations.

Yet I know when I take a written grocery list to the store, I am far more successful. This is also true for people who dutifully plan that coveted 2 week vacation or that impeding wedding.  Planning, the act of thinking, creates far greater success than being Captain Wing It who sprays his or her actions all over the place and then prays something will stick. Sales Coaching Tip:  Using a proven goal setting worksheet along with WAY SMART goals supports you in your forward progress.

So why would sales be any different?

  • Do not salespeople have a sales goal either set by their sales managers or even themselves?

  • Do not salespeople plan their calls?

  • Do not salespeople do their research to overcome sales objections?

Consistent goal planning, setting and achievement is a critical sales skill and not one that should be overlooked. However, because goal setting is not glamorous or even sexy, it is ignored by the many sales coaches, sales experts  and sales trainers.

If you want to increase sales, to experience consistent and possibly even dramatic growth, then consider adopting and sharing a proven goal setting and goal achievement process supported by a proven goal setting worksheet (tool).  You just may be surprised how this one often overlooked sales skill can really improve your bottom line.

Believe it or not!



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The One Big Word Missing From Sales Goals – Part 2

When the word Agreement is missing from sales goals, those in sales management are really creating an anti-performance culture. Agreement is not just the simple yes or no process, but requires in depth analysis as to the strategy behind the goal as well as other aspects of the organization.

sales-goalsIn speaking with the Vice President who was responsible for bringing in new business, one of the sales goals was giving business referrals to other departments within this financial institution. However those other departments are not required to give sales referrals back.

This sales goal demonstrates a misalignment between strategy, structure, processes, rewards and people. (Galbraith’s 5 Star Model)

If the sales goals is to increase business growth, then why would any responsible salesperson give business away especially when it is a one-way street and that give away business might negatively impact his or her own ability to achieve mandated sales goals?

The salesperson does all the calling, handles all the appointments, builds the relationships and then is supposed to just to give it away.

I don’t think so!

As crazy as this sounds, I have heard similar situations on more than one occasion. One similar circumstance extended to selling new products where the rewards (sales commissions) were less at the expense of selling established products.  Again, a lack of agreement through misalignment reared its ugly head.

When there is agreement and that agreement is in alignment with strategy, structure, processes/systems, rewards and people (Galbraith’s 5 Star Model), sales goals will be far more easily achieved and usually exceeded. So if you are in sales management and before you establish those sales goals, consider speaking with, not at, your sales team and secure agreement about those new sales goals. Also make sure there is no misalignment between strategy, structure, processes/systems, rewards and people.

If you truly want to increase sales, then scheduled a no risk 20 minute Business Growth Accelerator Session with Leanne Hoagland-Smith at 219.759.5601 CST where you will receive:

#1 – Quick assessment of your current sales process

#2 – One business growth strategy to increase results by 20% in 60 days

Consider giving her a call at 219.759.5601 especially if what you have tried has not worked and you are ready to challenge and then change the current status quo.




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Sales Leadership Talent of Sensitivity to Others

During the last two months of the year, here in the US, there is an increased awareness of sensitivity to others. Believe it or not, sensitivity to others is also necessary for those sales leadership roles.

sales-leadershipInnermetrix defines this talent through the Attribute Index as “the ability to be sensitive and aware of the feelings of others, but not to allow this awareness to get in the way of making objective decisions.”

The application of this sales leadership talent is through the decision making process. This capacity does not work in isolation, but rather works with other attributes such as empathetic outlookrole awareness and understanding attitude not to mention emotional intelligence.

Those who consistently demonstrate this sales leadership talent “will respond to the concerns of others, even if they don’t relate to the situation at hand.” (Source: Innermetrix)

When an individual fails to demonstrate this attribute suggests “an inability to identify and relate with others on a personal level.” Additionally those individual would have a “difficult time empathizing with the needs and concerns of those with whom they deal.” (Source: Innermetrix)

In these instances, the individual’s ego is fully engaged and watch me go takes over because my need to achieve my sales goal is far greater than your need.

Yes being sensitive to others is essential in sales, small business and life in general. And too bad so many fail to be sensitive to others throughout the year and not just during these final days of the current year.

If you would like to know your 78 key attributes as identified by the Attribute Index including sensitivity to others specific to your sales leadership role, then maybe it is time to reflect and invest in yourself for $47.

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How to Increase Sales May Be As Simple As Just Enjoy Life!

Just enjoy life sounds simple. Yet, for crazy busy small business owners, the ability to just enjoy life is not simple nor easy.



The ongoing pressures from a variety of buckets, so to speak, keep adding to the internal pressure cooker until one day turns into another day of just getting by without exploding or busting a gasket.

To enjoy life does require a change of attitude. Zig Ziglar said attitude are habits of thought. I prefer to think attitudes are deeper and far more about your internal beliefs and consequently value systems.

Yes the capacity of how to increase sales is critical to small business success. For without sales, no business can exist.

Yet would happen if you had a little more fun, a little more enjoyment?

Do you think your customers would feel those positive feelings?

How about your potential ideal customers? Would they also relate to your ability to express ongoing enjoyment?

Very few people like a Sour Sam or Suzy. And conversely people are turned off by those who are considered to be a Perky Polly or  Paul. There must be an authentic enjoyment of life and realization that yes bad things, unforeseen things happen. However it is how you deal with those misfortunes that will showcase your authenticity to enjoy life.

My Swedish grandmother taught me something that many others have learned from their elders,

“It takes less muscles to smile than to frown.”

How quickly you can turn that frown into an authentic smile will truly allow you to enjoy life and who knows, maybe, even exceed your sales goals.

P.S. Maybe these 3 Dirty words are keeping you from the ability to enjoy life?


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