Where are you going in 2004? Is a European trip being planned?
Is it a two-week family vacation to the mountains? Just where are
you headed and what are your plans? I ask this because, if you’re
going to create a successful trip, you probably are already looking
into when it will take place, how much investment it will take and
informing those who will be involved in making your venture a
Now, let’s switch gears and focus on where you’re going in 2004
with your sales goals. Are you creating a plan? The answer is,
probably not. Most salespeople don’t, however, those who do have a
plan tend to be the most successful.
If you want to be an achiever, here are some ideas you can
implement in creating your selling road map to raise the
probability of your success in 2004.
Dollars and Skills
How many dollars in
sales do you need to generate to be successful? In our company, I
feel the threshold for success for our sales/ designers is
$700,000; anything less than that is mediocre, and unless there is
a lot of repetitive (cookie cutter) business, above this level
makes for a pretty heavy work load. You need to find the numbers
that work for you.
For a road map, my $700,000 breaks down to a little more than
$58,000 per month, or approximately $15,000 per week. Or does it?
In our market, we have seasons that affect the building industry
and, therefore, not all of our months are equal opportunities for
Therefore, some months in our plan have to be weighted relative
to the seasons involved.
Another way to measure success and create the sales goals on
your road map is to use gross margin dollars. I like this better
because my designers/salespeople are paid on gross margin dollars
created rather than on gross sales. If our hypothetical salesperson
were operating at 35 percent gross margin, he or she would have to
be creating $5,250 per week in gross margin. I know this is just
math but, in order to be successful, there needs to be a strong
awareness of your sales goals every quarter, month and week to
ensure you are keeping on track.
Depending upon your employment situation, your sales goals may
be established for you. In other situations, you may have control
or, at least, input in establishing the goal. In either event, you
must believe that the goal is possible to obtain or your psyche
will keep you from reaching it.
Conversely, if you believe it’s a stretch of your skill to
obtain the goal but you believe you can, you will be on your way to
success. In creating your 2004 goals, always make sure the focus is
quantifiable in dollars. The closer you can get the measurement to
profit dollars left after all expenses, the better the
In today’s marketplace, the kitchen and bath industry has so
many choices, and the technical knowledge requirements are so
great, it is becoming difficult to keep abreast and acquire the
necessary knowledge for success. In addition, the consumer has an
increased level of knowledge and is more challenging today than
ever. I believe this will keep increasing. The Internet, changes in
distribution patterns and cultural change could all be factors. In
any case, it establishes challenges on the human relationship side
that we might not be prepared to deal with. If customer
communication and relationship breakdowns are a problem for you,
put elevating skills into your 2004 plan for success.
You may have other areas where skill levels must be raised to
achieve your goals. For example, how are your computer design
skills? Is it the software or the hardware that’s giving you the
most problems? Or, is your lack of knowledge keeping you from
maximizing your computer design abilities? If this is a problem
area, you should review your software or hardware for its
effectiveness for your business, and part of your plan for 2004
should include the proper computer training. Too often, we put off
acquiring or raising skill levels, which are important in the big
picture of reaching our goals.
I know the industry is tough to keep pace with, but the burden
of keeping up is on each individual’s shoulders. If you wait for
the boss, the company, the manufacturers’ representatives or the
manufacturer to make sure you are given the information and
training you believe you need, you may have a long wait. Skill
upgrading is, for the most part, a do-it-yourself program. If you
do get assistance from other sources, take full advantage, because
it means others believe you are important to them and their
Another factor to help secure
your 2004 success is ensuring that your selling tools are in good
order. Do you have a discontinued display that needs to be changed?
Are you lacking a full sample set of your solid surface line? Are
you missing door samples, stain samples, hardware, literature,
etc.? Sales tools that are missing or not current have a negative
effect on your ability to sell. When you are plotting your road map
to success, make sure that you have a plan to keep selling tools in
Just as we try to understand our prospect’s needs by asking who,
what, where, when and why, take a moment and ask these easy
questions about your selling plans for 2004. The answers, I
believe, are easy.
WHO: Who is responsible for the plan for
success? You are!
WHAT: What needs to be done? Clear and concise
goals must be created and worked toward.
WHERE: Share your goals with your supervisor,
family and friends, and keep them in front of you for constant
WHEN: The time is now, and follow up should be
weekly, monthly and quarterly.
WHY: Because you deserve to be successful.
I challenge you to set goals for 2004, goals for dollars
produced, skills improvement and employing the right sales tools.
If you do this process correctly, next year you will have the time
and money to go Europe, the mountains or wherever you want to go.
Without a plan and objectives to be accomplished, the results are