Getting After Goals

[ EDITOR' S NOTE:] In his latest book "GOALS!: How to Get Everything You Want - Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible" (Berrett-Koehler, 2003), best-selling business author and professional speaker Brian Tracy states matter-of-factly, "Success is goals, and all else is commentary."

Tracy says, "goals unlock your positive mind and release ideas and energy for goal attainment. Without goals, you simply drift and flow on the currents of life. With goals, you fly like an arrow, straight and true to your target."

We have pulled some of the more specific goal-oriented advice from his book and reprinted it here. While Tracy speaks directly to the goal setters themselves, you can incorporate these ideas into your management techniques.

Double Your Income
Many people tell me that they would like to double their income. If they are in sales, I ask them, "What is the fastest and most direct way to double your income?" After they have come up with a series of suggestions, I give them what I consider to be the best answer: "Double the amount of time that you spend face to face with qualified prospects."

The most direct way to increase your sales has always been the same: Spend more time with better prospects. If you don't upgrade your skills or change anything else about what you are doing, but you double the number of minutes that you spend face to face with prospects each day, you will probably double your sales income.

Three Keys to Peak Performance
The three keys to peak performance in achieving goals are commitment, completion and closure.

When you make a firm commitment to achieve a particular goal, and you put aside all excuses, it is very much like stepping on the accelerator of your subconscious mind. You will be more creative, determined and focused than ever before.

Completion is the second ingredient in peak performance. It is common for people to work very hard up to the 90 percent or 95 percent level and then slack off and delay the final completion of the task. You must continually force yourself, discipline yourself, to resist this natural tendency and push through to completion.

Identify Your Key Result Areas
Every job is made up of about five to seven key result areas. In sales, these seven key result areas consist of first, prospecting; second, establishing rapport; third, identifying needs; fourth, presenting solutions; fifth, answering objections; sixth, closing the sale; and seventh, getting resales and referrals from satisfied customers.

Give yourself a grade of one to 10 in each of these areas. You need to have a minimum score of seven across the board to be in the top 20 percent of your field.

Once you have graded yourself in these seven areas, take the list to your boss or, even better, to one of your customers and ask that person to give you a grade as well. Often, the way you evaluate yourself is much different and higher than the way you are evaluated by others.

Whatever your final grades, you must then select your weakest key skill and work on that skill so that it is equal to or greater than the others. Your weakest skill sets the height of your income and determines how fast and how far you go in your career.

Apply the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of the value of all of your activities. If you have a list of 10 items to complete, two of those items will be more valuable than the other eight items combined. Sometimes it will even be the "90/10" rule. Once you have prepared a list of tasks for the coming day, review your list and apply the 80/20 rule before you begin.

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