The Path to Selling Success

By: Thomas Young

(appeared in the March 3, 1999, issue of inBIZ magazine of central Colorado)

A Road Map: The Mission Statement 
The first step on your road to success is to define success. This is accomplished by writing a professional mission statement. A mission statement is like a rudder on a ship; it determines your direction. Without it your purpose can be unclear, vague or prone to change-based external influences. A mission statement is a way of accepting personal responsibility for your life. We choose who we are, or want to be.

A mission statement should describe the key services you aspire to provide your customers and who you are. Everything you do in your sales role should be in line with your mission statement. A mission statement is extremely powerful. The act of writing this vision moves your powerful unconscious into action. Research shows that we are many times more effective when we have a clear vision.

Mission statements come from deep within us. Being in tune with this inner guide defines our values and uniqueness. A mission statement manifests this into action and brings greater meaning and purpose to work and life.

Road Signs: Goals
Goals help create a plan to actually live your mission statement. This should include career goals, financial objectives, sales goals, and all aspects of your sales process. Limit and focus your goals to a few key items that are most important. It is up to you to determine which areas are priorities, given the nature of your task at hand.

In order to obtain a goal; do not try to hold on too tightly to the desired outcome. This will come across to others as desperation. Be able to let go, walk away, and not let your emotions keep you in something that will not produce a desired end result. Do not become too attached to anything. Too much attachment can lead to disappointment when things beyond your control do not work out.

When setting goals, ask the following: What is the end-result I am trying to achieve? How does the goal connect to my mission statement? How am I going to achieve this goal? How will I measure the results?

Mode of Transportation: Personal Action Plan
An action plan brings your mission statement and goals to reality. A mission statement and goals without an action plan are fantasy. The action plan makes the thought concrete and determines the action you are going to take to reach goals. In your action plan, focus on the practical applications needed to reach your goals and achieve your mission. Success does not come without focused action.

Many of us live with the imbalance of doing things that need to be done. These things are not necessarily important. We are trapped in putting out fires, meeting deadlines or managing our day-to-day work. This does not put you on track to achieving goals. Taking care of urgent matters will meet short-term needs and you will feel productive, but long-term growth and achievement is not present. Set goals and actions that are essential to reaching your mission, and do them.

Are We There? Check Your Progress
Track the daily, weekly and monthly activities of your action plan. Begin each day by reviewing your schedule or plan for the day. Those items that are not accomplished should be carried over to the next day. Don’t just wing it. Use common sense and keep focused on important areas. Prioritize these activities and set a time value to them. Evaluate whether you are staying true to your mission statement and on track to reach your goals. Change and improve the action plan as needed.

Arrive at Your Destination: Success
Have fun as you follow your mission. When you love your work it stops being work, and becomes enjoyment. Do not allow little things to get to you and most of what happens to us is a small occurrence in the big scheme of life. When obstacles come up, see them as challenges and learning experiences to overcome. We have the power to choose how we deal with them. Problems and obstacles make life a challenge and make rewards meaningful.

What you practice, think and do is who you are. You have the power to decide who you want to be by writing a mission statement and setting goals. Living your mission statement and reaching your goals are the true meaning of success.

Tom Young, MBA is president of Intuitive Websites, a sales training and marketing consulting firm helping companies increase revenues. He can be reached at 719-481-4040, or email at  tom@intuitivewebsites.com.