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58.5 Pounds Worth of Sales Lessons About Goals

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 12/31/14 7:53 AM

It's that time of year again, when we all start thinking about our goals and how we are going to reach them.

For some of us, the idea of making the new year the year that we hit a million, or 100 customers can be surreal. Especially when we consider where we are starting from.

The year I turned 40, I had a reoccurring thought somewhere in my head about what was happening. I refused to be fat at 40. So in the previous year, I lost 58.5 lbs, several inches, and 6 dress sizes. People asked me all the time, "How did you do it?" My response was usually, "I did it with numbers, like I do with sales. It took the emotion and excuses out of it for me." 

And while I was thrilled and relieved at the same time, I’ve also come to understand that the road I was on had done more then move the numbers on the scale. It had changed my outlook on sales goals and left me with some valuable lessons about how to reach them.

5 Sales Lessons Learned from losing 58.5 pounds

Sales Lesson #1- Sales is a Daily Lifestyle

To lose the weight, I needed to make lifestyle changes, not try a fast fad diet. There was no way I was going to stick to something long term that wasn't a natural part of my day. So I made some daily changes, and as those small changes became habits, I added more small changes.

In sales, when things don't work out, we tend to look for the next fad, quick tip, thinking that is all it will take to tip the scales in our favor. When was the last time the latest book, webinar, or training made a lasting impact on your sales results?

Sales Lesson #2- No Cheating on Accountability

The first thing I did was to start keeping track. It is so easy to assume we are eating right. So to keep myself accountable, I used an app on my smart phone called MyFitnessPal. But I had to be honest with myself and not round up or down. If I only have 1200 calories in a day to spend, what is the best way to spend it?

As the pounds started to come off and as my energy picked up, I added some exercise to my daily routine. 20 minutes a day to start. Then as I started sleeping better, I was able to get up earlier and do 30 minutes of exercise. Then I did things to change my diet like cutting out pasta whenever possible. Before I knew it, people were starting to notice. And that only encouraged me to keep going.


In sales, I also use a CRM system designed to help me track my daily behaviors. How many calls and emails does it take to book a meeting? How many meetings to get to a real opportunity? If you only have so many hours in a day, what is the most productive thing you can do?

Sales Lesson #3- Head Trash has Physical Consequences

I believe that our bodies and physical health are connected to our mental health and therefore impacts everything we do. Taking control of my health and choosing to make the lifestyle changes gave me more energy, awareness, alertness, empathy, discipline, and less stress, frustration, anxiety and guilt. My relationships with those I care about, and even with myself has become more positive. 

What is happening in your head isn't staying in your head. If you are not in the moment with your prospect, you can't gain their trust. If what your prospect says isn't what you hear because the voice in your head is twisting it, that is going to be a problem. Small daily disciplines are not only in what you do, but in how you think.

Sales Lesson #4- Being a Leader Means Being an Example

Another thing I had noticed was how my personal fitness goals motivated those around me. My husband is was more active with me on walks and kayaks rides. My son started running with me (he still beats me every time- he is like a gazelle!). Even my neighbor was inspired and lost 110 lbs! (I am a little jealous!)

Being an example in sales isn't just for directors and managers. According to an IDC Study, 92% of B2B buyers are attracted sales people who are the leaders in their industries. 

Sales Lesson #5- It Never Ends

I lost 58.5 pounds. But I have to confess, I think I have gained a little back. I traveled a lot, the holidays happened, and I started to let my daily habits slip. At first, I didn't notice it. As the weeks and months slipped by, my jeans started to get tight. Now they barely fit. 

When we start to see success, we can start to get complacent. We've met our quota, why keep trying to kill it? A body in motion tends to stay in motion. 

Are your goals daunting? Are you playing it safe so you don't have to work too hard, or be disappointed because anything more would seem crazy? 

Topics: sales