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What's a million dollars worth to you?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 11/11/15 8:00 AM

Donald Trump has been given a lot of slack for his comments recently that “It has not been easy for me... And you know I started off in Brooklyn, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars.” His point was that a million dollars was small compared to what he built with it. But a lot of people’s response was “A million dollars? Most people hope to make that in their lifetime!”

Trump was born into a wealthy family, and so his perspective on money is naturally different from those who were not born into wealthy families.

What does that have to do with getting more customers and growing a business?

It’s that time of year that most of us are thinking about the next year, creating plans, strategies, and wondering how next year will be different from this year. What needs to be accomplished and why?

Someone recently objected when I said that financial goals like paying loans and bills were de-motivating. Her thoughts were that “many people are so deep in debt that they can't afford what they really want, so that's a huge goal.” And that’s exactly the problem and why Trump’s comment upset so many.

It is also why when we need to figure out what our personally meaningful goals are and tie that to a monetary value. We avoid it because our relationship and perspective of money is skewed.

Not if you can, but how.

I recently spoke with a past client about how he felt now about his goals related to money. Trent shared how his relationship with money got him emotionally involved.

His struggle with setting goals was that he didn’t know what’s possible. He didn’t want to set a goal that was so big he couldn’t reach it. Coming up with a number that had a personal meaning to him because it would change the direction of his life, a number that was more than he had ever made- was a struggle because of his attitude about money. $200 was a lot of money. Setting such a big life changing money goal was intimidating and daunting because it was so personal and because he didn’t know if it was possible.

“Some people will only shop Mercedes, others will only buy Toyota’s. But their world is different from mine, so I can’t get caught up in what my world is like. That was the game changer that changed my attitude about money and sales. Don’t project your perception onto others. Keep your emotions out of it."

What if instead of worrying about what was possible, you focused on what you wanted and how to get there? 

For Trent, he realized that he needed to sell at a higher price, and to do that he needed to get a different type of person to buy from him. After he found success with one, he believed it was possible to get the rest. There are people who will pay it because of the value to them, it was just a matter finding them.

As he went through setting his personal sales goals and dealing with his money issues, it was easier for him to learn how to appropriately follow up. A genuine curiosity to get to know the buyer and what their personal goals are rather than just go in for the sale helped him know what follow up needed to look like. When done correctly, he built “real” trust with prospects. Before he knew it, they reached out with questions about major business decisions. That’s “real” trust.

It's not like goal setting magically changed his perspective on money, it happened over time. You can’t separate it, it’s a journey- but the goal setting is starting point.

For Trent, the goal is like a thermometer- he compares everything to that. He doesn’t waste time on people who are not going to help him reach his goals. Bad fits will distract him, he says no to deals and was able to find better deals.

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Topics: goal setting