Last week, Diana Nyad made history as the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. That is 112 miles over 53 hours for the 64-year-old. American Idol winner Ruben Studdard is going on the Biggest Loser this fall to get healthy by shedding some of his 450 pounds. And in three short weeks, this woman is going to check a goal off her bucket list when I cross the finish line in my first 5K!
Goals are a part of everyday life in media sales. We have monthly dollar goals, new business goals, web goals, beating last year goals, goals for the number of phone calls, new business calls, face-to-face calls, goals for raising our average unit rate or selling out the pre-game and post-game shows. But those goals are, for the most part, imposed on a media salesperson by the Powers That Be.
I wonder if Diana Nyad would have worked for 35 years for that triumphant swim if someone had told her she had to do it. Those of us with weight issues know how we feel when the doctor recommends that we drop a few pounds – and how successful we are at taking her advice! The only one putting any pressure on me to get out of bed before dawn four mornings a week to run – an activity I used to loathe – is me.
So, I wonder if you who are in media sales would have a different attitude towards a goal, including a different outcome, if the goal was one you, the seller, set for yourself. Think about it: you would be certain that it is attainable, you would take ownership, and it would be all YOU when you reach it. In working on my goal of training for and running in a 5K before my next birthday, I discovered a few things:
- Declare it. Your goal can be a financial one, or to be the top in a category. It might be bringing in more new business, or being the top seller of an event or program. You might be quiet about sharing your goal out of fear over whether or not you will reach it. But if you are committed, you WILL reach it. Your friends will encourage you. Find a role model who has blazed a trail ahead of you and share in their wins. That will give you hope. Show your goal off to yourself and others and you will be able to hold yourself accountable.
- Measure your progress. If you have a CRM system, this will really help you if your goal is a financial one or one involving number of activities. Know where you are starting and where you intend to end. If you intend to sell ten sports packages, cross off numbers as you sell. If you are doing a new business call each day, cross off on a calendar each day you make that call. Start at the beginning and know where the finish line is.
- Do a little more each day. It is called “training.” By running a little longer, farther, and faster each day, I am building speed and endurance. Each day, spend a few more minutes on your preparation or make one more call. Your actions will help you focus and will also become longer term habits.
- Visualize. I am betting Diana Nyad could see herself pulling up onto that beach. I am focused on having a picture of myself crossing the finish line to show my friends, with my husband and daughters proudly cheering me on. See yourself winning the New Business Award or eating at that expensive restaurant funded with your financial goal. It will keep you motivated.
- Relish it when you hit it. Hopefully, you will have sold your boss on giving you a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ for going above and beyond. Enjoy the recognition, the prize, and the glow that comes from achievement.
I am betting on Ruben to get the weight off and keep it off, I now actually enjoy running and see more 5Ks in my future, and I am betting on YOU to set a media sales goal and reach it. Count me in your declaration, keep me posted on your progress, and I want to hear from you when you reach it. Ready, set, GO!
By Kitty Malone, Efficio Solutions Manager of Client Services
Pondering what neat new events or promotions you can plan for the coming year?