Sales Coaching Blog

Setting Sales Goals. A Lesson From A Father

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

March 21, 2012

Do you ever wonder how some individuals excel beyond comprehension? How do the “Greats” get to be “THAT GOOD!”  Or how records are set, or even broken? Answering questions like Sarah Wirth leadership expertthese are sometimes best answered through stories of others successes and the steps they took to get there. Last week, one of our own EcSELL Institute members, Greg Bradshaw, Vice President of Sales for American HomePatient shared a story about his father, Max, and  how he learned so many valuable lessons from him growing up.   One of the most memorable was the value of setting goals and working towards them consistently.  Greg is frequently thinks of the model of consistency set by his dad and it is something Greg reinforces in his own sales organization today. Here is the story.

Sales Goals

Max  was a salesperson for the prestigious waterless cookware company, Rena Ware, for 33 years.  Although always considered a solid salesperson, Max’s performance really accelerated when the Consistency Club was founded at Rena Ware.  To be in the Consistency Club, a sales rep needed to sell four sets of cookware for 12 weeks straight.  Selling four sets in one week was no easy task and doing it for 12 weeks in a row was almost unheard of.  However, once Max saw some other reps accomplish this goal, he set his mind to doing it as well. 

Max remembers, “When the Consistency Club first started and the first streak was 12 weeks. I was amazed and wondered how that guy ever sold four sets of cookware for three solid months. I told several people that record will never be broken. Shortly after that, two guys were battling the record and both beat it, but quit just after the 12 weeks. It was then I determined to set my own goal and beat the record myself. Getting the first 12 weeks was a challenge, but once I got there, I realized there was no reason to stop and decided I was going to continue doing so for the rest of my career.”

Not only did Max become a member of the Consistency Club, he was able to maintain his membership each and every week for over 17 years.  To put this in context, of the 13,000 reps that sold for Rena Ware at the same time as Max, only 30 were members of the Consistency Club at any given time.  Of those 30, only four were able to maintain their membership for a year.  Max was in the Consistency Club over a decade longer than the sales rep with the second-longest streak.  

Max credits his goal-setting for his remarkable results both personally and professionally.  He notes, “Staying in the Consistency Club not only provided for the family, but captured the respect of my peers and senior management as well. It also allowed me to win trips all over the world every single year. Setting that goal was the best thing I ever did. We had a great life and without setting that goal, I would have never accomplished the many things that accompanied it.  I was blessed beyond my wildest dreams and I set a record that will probably stand forever.”

Max’s achievements also had a significant impact on his son, Greg.  Not only did Greg learn the value of perseverance and hard work from his father, he also learned to dream big.  Greg says, “My father taught me that the nothing is Impossible. It is a trait that has allowed me to accomplish more than I could imagine.” Now when Greg is talking with sales leaders and reps on his team, he stresses the importance of having weekly goals and not giving up until the goal is achieved.

Max’s story illustrates the power of setting an aggressive sales goal and the consistent performance that is necessary to achieve it.  Consider for a moment what you could accomplish if you were to raise your expectations about what you are capable of, set a specific goal and not stop working until you reached it week in and week out.  Do this and you will not only have a story to share like Max in the future, but accomplish more than you could ever imagine possible.

 

Sarah Wirth is a sales leadership and coaching expert, and “Catalyst  Zone” co-creator.  She will be a keynote speaker at the Sales Coaching Summit. Her topic is "Harnessing the Power of the Collective Through Collaborative Leadership"

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