It is not enough to simply want to succeed, says Mark Zokle, a nationally recognized sales trainer and manager. In this brief exchange, Zokle touches on a few points that can lead to triumph, but only for those willing to do the work.
A Gathering of Experts: Good afternoon, we thank you for taking your time to be with us today.
Mark Zokle: Anytime!
A Gathering of Experts: We would like to discuss the importance of setting goals. What would you consider the most important step in achieving sales objectives?
Mark Zokle: Just setting the goal! It might sound like a given, but many salespersons don’t actually define a point of success. Instead, they mentally note a vague target.
A Gathering of Experts: Which doesn’t work?
Mark Zokle: No, a goal must be specific and structured the right way.
A Gathering of Experts: How is that?
Mark Zokle: It must be quantifiable and realistic. If it’s not something that can actually be achieved in the timespan set forth, it becomes a tool of discouragement.
A Gathering of Experts: Can you give us an example of a well-structured goal?
Mark Zokle: “I will close $500,000 in sales in six months’ time. I will do this by contacting 1,500 different prospects.”
A Gathering of Experts: 1,500?
Mark Zokle: Yes.
A Gathering of Experts: That sounds very difficult.
Mark Zokle: Not really. Over the course of six months, that comes out to just about 15 attempts a day…roughly half an hour.
A Gathering of Experts: Ok, when you put it that way it isn’t quite as imposing! Is there a best time to start making these calls?
Mark Zokle: The day you implement your plan. Getting over that initial set of calls is really half the battle.
A Gathering of Experts: What if you’ve gone a week or two and failed to even get a face-to-face meeting?
Mark Zokle: At that point, it’s time to reevaluate your tactics. Ask yourself what isn’t working. Are you focusing on the wrong products/services? Do you come off as pushy? Lack knowledge?
A Gathering of Experts: How does self-discipline play a part in sales?
Mark Zokle: The top 10% of sales people are those who can work without being told what to do; they understand they must remain focused.
A Gathering of Experts: What about doing other tasks?
Mark Zokle: Until those calls are made, it’s best to let everything else wait. Chances are that whatever it is can be put on the backburner for half an hour. If you score a longer call, make that your priority at the moment. Never tell a newly-interested prospect you’ll have to call them back to sell them something.
A Gathering of Experts: That’s sound advice.
Mark Zokle: A trick I use is to set mini-goals for myself. Once I complete them, I get a small reward.
A Gathering of Experts: How do you feel about sharing goals with team members?
Mark Zokle: I highly encourage goal-sharing! They say that making your intentions known increases your chance of success by over 70%!
A Gathering of Experts: Wow.
Mark Zokle: It makes it about accountability. When you tell someone else that you are going to do something, you no longer have just yourself to report back to. People will ask you about your goals…no one wants to be that person who admits defeat!
A Gathering of Experts: That is a great point and surely a way to lead by example.
Mark Zokle: Right!
A Gathering of Experts: We appreciate your time today.
Mark Zokle: My pleasure.
A Gathering of Experts: Do you have anything closing words for our readers?
Mark Zokle: Just that being the person with a real commitment makes you 100x more valuable than someone who just has an interest in success.