Now that we are officially in the 4th quarter, it’s a good time to do an evaluation of the goals that you set back in the 1st quarter. While you should always be evaluating where you are at, the 4th quarter is the perfect opportunity to reflect back on the year and make any improvements/adjustments before the year is up. It is also a great chance to look ahead to 2018 and begin to plan your goals/strategy.
As salespeople, we have to not only be living in the present moment but also have to be forward thinking. Many top-performing salespeople are starting to think about next year’s success and are formulating goals and plans to hit those goals. Looking at your situation right now in Q4, here are some things you can do to set yourself up for success in 2018.
Don’t relax or give up in the 4th quarter
It doesn’t really matter if you have fallen short of your goals, or are pacing to greatly exceed them. What does matter is how you respond to it. In both cases, you still have to finish the year strong.
If you are pacing to exceed your goals, now is not the time to hang back and relax. Feeling like you have already won will cause you to stop putting in the effort to keep grinding. It is entirely possible to have amazing first three quarters, only to get crushed in the fourth quarter because we got complacent. Losing your steam like that in the fourth quarter will cause you to enter the new year feeling like a failure. Keep on grinding and stay hungry, even if you have had an extremely successful year so far.
On the flip side, if you are pacing to fall short of your goals, you should not give up. Only by giving up do you fail. You still have 25% of the year left – make it a successful end to the year. Keep on putting in the efforts and keep on improving. If you give up, you will also enter the new year feeling like a failure. Finish as strong as you possibly can.
Start to formulate your 2018 goals.
We all know the importance of goal setting. Rather than waiting until the last minute, now is the time to start to think about your sales and marketing goals for next year.
The first thing you should do is to look at your performance so far this year. Again, it doesn’t matter if you are ahead or behind your goals. The only thing that matters here is how much you want to improve next year. If you want to make X more dollars next year, formulate your sales goals around that. You could also want to improve your closing % by X amount next year. There are numerous ways to think of measurable ways to get better.
After that, make sure that your sales goal is a SMARTER goal. In short, the SMARTER acronym stands for:
Whatever your sales goal might be, ensure that it satisfies all of the above criteria. This will help set you up for success in 2018 because a goal that is realistic and measurable is far more likely to be achieved.
Read a sales book/subscribe to a Podcast/attend a conference or training seminar
As a salesperson, you’ll never want to stop improving. It’s been said that the moment you think you’ve ‘arrived,’ you start to lose. Failing to keep an open mind and not looking for new ways to improve will cause you to become stale and stagnant. We live in a world that is constantly changing – we have to change and improve with it.
In your spare time, read a sales book that you have never read before. When you are driving around, listen to a sales motivation Podcast. If you have a weekend with nothing planned, attend a sales training seminar or class. It doesn’t really matter what you do – the point is that you are taking actual steps to improve your performance, which is crucial to a strong start in 2018.
You might be looking at your year-to-date figures and be extremely satisfied with your performance. On the other hand, you could also be extremely disappointed with yourself. In either scenario, we not only have to start to think about the year ahead and what our goals will be for 2018, but also have to finish the year stronger than ever. Don’t relax/give up, and use your spare time to improve your process. If you accomplish all that, you will set yourself up for major success in 2018.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service author, blogger and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife. I enjoy reading, writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com