Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger

Whatever You’re Thinking, Think Bigger.

–Tony Hsieh, entrepreneur

You’ve probably heard the expression that “Life is a self-fulfilling prophesy.” Nowhere is that more immediately apparent than in the world of commission sales. As you look around the company or industry you work in, I’ll bet it’s true that some reps, the top producers, are making two, three or even four times more than other reps selling the exact same product or service? Have you ever asked yourself why that is?

I sure did. My moment of clarity came one day when I grew sick and tired of being sick and tired. I had just lost a big sale, and suddenly I didn’t have spending money for the weekend. As I looked around at the top three producers, I saw their expensive suites, and I saw their nice cars in the parking lot. They were selling the same thing I was, but my results were totally different. I wondered what I was doing wrong.

At that moment, I made a commitment that day to do whatever I had to do to succeed. Within 90 days I went from one of the bottom producers to the top out of 25 reps. As soon as I was handed the biggest paycheck I had ever earned, I went back to my desk and wondered just what the limit on my income could be at that job. Looking at what others had been earning for over a year, I set a new goal of income for myself – a big one.

By the end of that year, I had reached that goal. As I lay on a lounge chair in Maui, Hi (a bonus from the company!), I set an even bigger goal for income in that next year. By the end of that year, I hit it again! The following year, I had bigger income goals, but I knew I needed more opportunity, so I left that company and became a vice president of sales with a new firm. I hit my goal again. Suddenly life became very open to me.

I have learned to be a big believer in visualization and affirmations, and over the years I have proved to myself that whatever I think is possible becomes possible. But I have also learned that it can become a limit. Rarely do I exceed my goals, rather, I achieve them. And that’s why I love today’s quote. I read something similar once that has become my new mantra:

“Imagine better than the best you know.”

What I love about this quote is that whenever I finish goal setting for the year or the quarter, or the month, I ask myself: what would happen if I imagined even better? What would be even more exciting and fulfilling? What would my life be like if I accomplished something more?

And once I go beyond what I think is possible, I look for evidence of someone else achieving it. I always find examples of people or organizations who have higher goals than I do, and this always inspires me to dream bigger.

I do believe life is a self-fulfilling prophesy, and this leads me to another quote I think often about: “Most people don’t set goals to high and miss, they set them too low and hit.”

So today, I constantly challenge myself to ask “what if?” This helps me raise the limits of what I think are possible, and this allows me to keep hitting bigger and better goals.

Now granted, there are other variables at play. One of the most important is, of course, skill and technique level. Top producers consistently practice better selling habits and better sales techniques. But you can learn and practice these, too. They tend to work harder, but, again, you can do that.

They put in the time, energy and money required to perfect their craft. But the good news for everyone else, is that these techniques and habits can be learned by anyone willing to put in the same time and effort.

Years ago, I heard a sales trainer say that the great thing about sales, especially commission sales, is that you are the boss. Think about it: the company you work for pays all the bills – they pay the phone, office space, pay the support staff, get the leads, etc. All you have to do is determine the amount of money you want to make. The great thing about sales is if you want to get a raise, then you can give yourself one – close more sales.

After I applied myself and mastered the craft of sales, in other words, put in the time to learn how to make a connection, build rapport, qualify leads, handle objections and stalls, etc., I realized that there was another component to sales: the mental part. What I realized is that what separated me from big dollar producers wasn’t my skill set any longer, but rather, what I expected of myself.

Someone once said that the world (and sales) is like a vast ocean: some people go to it with a teaspoon, others a cup, and others a dump truck. How much you take out of the ocean is determined by the container you take to it. It’s the same in sales. What’s the difference between someone making a million dollar a year in commissions and someone making $5,000 a year? Their expectation level.

Think about it: If you were to take a million dollar producer from one company and put him or her in another, how do you think they would do? First, they would make sure a million dollars in commissions was possible in that job or industry, and then they would generate it. But the same is true with the $5,000 producer. Put that person in the same job or industry, and they’ll average about $5,000 in commissions. I’m sure you’ve seen this happen…

What I’ve found to be true in sales – and in life – is that you get what you expect. And the true way to get more – sales, commissions, income – is to believe it’s possible, and then truly expect it.

You Can Do It

Can you become a top sales producer?

We all know who the top sales producers are. Every company has them. If you look at all the producers in your company, I’m sure they are ranked in production from top to bottom. If your company is like most, there are probably even monthly or quarterly bonuses for the top revenue earners. Sales reps often ask me if I think they have what it takes to become a top sales producer, and I always answer that question with another question.

I’ll ask you that same question right now: Can you run a marathon? You know, a 26 mile marathon race? Just listen to what your mental answer was: yes or no. Some of you may be very athletic and some of you may even be runners, so that answer may be clear. But what about you? Can you run a marathon?

When I ask that question at a sales conference, the majority say no, they can’t. They think about the effort and endurance it takes; they think about the last time they tried to run; they consider their current physical shape and often their lack of an exercise routine. Once they consider all these things, it is easy for them to admit they just can’t do it.

After I ask this question, I then surprise everyone by telling them that they absolutely CAN run a marathon if they choose to. I tell them that they all have the ability to run a marathon and that the word “can” refers to the ability to do something. And you who are reading this right now can run a marathon, in other words, you have the ability to run one if you choose to.

The reason I know you can is because of the amazing people who are competing and finishing marathons right now. There is Fauja Singh who, at 100 years old, completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It took him more than eight hours, but he did it. Then there is Patrick Finney’s accomplishment. In 1998, this Texas software engineer woke up with numbness in his legs. Doctors diagnosed him with multiple sclerosis. In 2004, he couldn’t walk any longer.

But Patrick didn’t give up. He committed to getting better, and with the help of medications and physical therapy, he learned to balance again, and after two years he entered and completed a marathon. He went on to finish 50 marathons in 50 different states – the first person with multiple sclerosis to do so. These are just two of thousands of other inspiring stories.

Now let me ask you a different way: If I told you that I would give you 1 million dollars to complete my favorite marathon – the December Honolulu, HI Marathon – and I’m talking 1 million dollars cash, after taxes, do you think you could do it? I’ll bet you’d start practicing tonight, wouldn’t you!

You see, the important thing is that can is an ability. You have the ability to run a marathon, even though you may choose not to right now. But you CAN. And you can do a lot of other things as well – like become a top sales producer at your company and in your industry. But you first have to believe that you can first.

Many people limit themselves, in every area of their lives, with a “can’t do” attitude. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested or not, what is important is that you can. Once your potential and ability is properly reframed in this way, your life becomes a choice. It is okay if you choose not to do something – I am not into playing cards, but I know I “can” play championship bridge; I just haven’t learned how yet because I’m not interested in cards. But I can!

Once you recognize and acknowledge your ability – and we all have a lot more ability and potential than we are using – that’s when your life becomes an awesome opportunity. You can achieve superstar performance in sales – others have, and you have the ability to as well.

You just have to decide if you’re willing to put in the time and effort it takes.

But you can do it.

My Favorite (Brian Tracy) Goal Setting Technique

Happy New Year!

How is the goal setting going?

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with setting goals in each area of your life, or if you are overwhelmed now that you have set goals in every area of your life and you are already wondering where you’re going to get the time to do it all, then you’re not alone.

I’ve been goal setting for years, and while I (and the rest of the world) may get pumped up by all the wonderful things I’m going to accomplish and all the changes I’m going to make, what I’ve learned is that there is only so much time.

It’s an old story, but if you want to know how much of the goal setting (and accomplishing) really goes, just drive by your local gym’s parking lot during the first week of January and compare it to the first week in March.

I once heard Brian Tracy talk about setting goals, and he recommended a technique that not only made a lot of sense, but that turns out to be so powerful, it is life changing…

He said what you do is make a list of your top ten goals for the year. Think about what’s most important to you in the different areas of your life, and write down ten things.

Next, prioritize that list so that the most important goal is number one. The way to determine which goal is number one is to ask yourself which of the ten would have the most impact on your life if you actually reached it.

Once you have your list prioritized, throw away the other nine goals and make a commitment to making that number one goal a reality in the coming twelve months.

And once you’ve made that commitment, ask yourself what one action you can take today, right now, to begin reaching that goal. And once you have identified that, do it.

Before you go to sleep tonight, identify the one action you’re going to take tomorrow, and then commit to taking it.

And then do this each and every day until you have accomplished that one most important goal.

When I heard this, my first thought was, “Yeah, but what about the other nine goals? What about balance and all that?”

And that’s when he explained that despite our best intentions, most goal setting starts strong, but by March we’ve given up on half of them, and by the summer most – if not all – have been abandoned.

That’s why identifying one goal, the most important and most impactful goal, is a better way to go.

Think about how much your life will change (and the lives of your family members) if you reach your number one, most important goal.

If your goal is to become a top producer in your industry and double or triple your income, think about the impact that will have on your family! Think about buying that new home, or providing for your parents, or allowing your wife or spouse to stay home.

If your goal is to finally write that novel, think about how your life will change when you finally accomplish that this year! Think about the weight off your shoulders now that it is a reality rather than just another dream.

If your goal is to lose weight, get in shape, and get off your medication and live a longer, healthier life for yourself and your family, think about the long term rewards achieving that goal will bring you! (And think of the consequence if you don’t.)

Whether or not you agree with Brian, I’m here to tell you that it’s more impactful for you to hit the most important goal in your life than it is to set ten and not hit any of them…

And, hey, if you reach your number one goal by July, you can get to number two!

If you’ve set goals for years and not been very successful at following through, then why not take the pressure off yourself and try Brian’s method?

How bad would it be if you actually reached your most important goal in 2017?

5 Book Recommendations to Have a Great 2017

As you run around doing your final Christmas shopping this week, have you remembered your favorite person? (You!)

I know you do a lot for others in your life – your family and extended family, your co-workers or employees, those people who serve you in your favorite restaurants, cleaners, mail delivery people, etc. – but what about yourself?

As we stare down New Year’s Eve and a whole new year of dreams and goals, why not give yourself a couple of books (or audiobooks) that can motivate and support you in achieving those dreams?

Here are my top five favorite motivational and inspiration books. If you haven’t read them, then you’re in for a treat…

#1. “The Advanced Formula for Total Success,” by Dr. Robert Anthony. This is a classic and one that I read every year. It is packed with the truth about what is holding you back from achieving your dreams, AND it tells you how to release the breaks.

It is out of print, but luckily Amazon.com has many sellers still offering copies from a few bucks to over $40. Search for it today and get ready for a powerful, life changing book that you will enjoy for years to come.

#2. “Find and Use Your Inner Power,” by Emmet Fox. I read sections from this book almost every day. It is a book of essays, each only a page to a page and a half long. The essays are about the law of attraction from a spiritual perspective. Simply one of the best books out there to be reminded of the truth.

I recommend you start every day by reading a page or two.

#3. “The Secret,” by Rhonda Bryne. One of the most accessible books on the law of attraction. If you’re not familiar with this concept, then this is a great introductory book.

Bonus book: Another great introductory book on the law of attraction is: “As a Man Thinketh,” by James Allen. This book is probably available for free as an ebook. Great, quick read that will change the way you think.

#4. “The Success Principles,” by Jack Canfield. If you’re looking for a more complete, step by step, guide to setting and achieving goals, this book will get you there. Make sure you have a notebook handy as Jack will have you doing exercises as you plan the rest of your life.

If you’re ready, Jack is, too.

#5. “The Complete Book of Phone Scripts,” by Mike Brooks. How could I not put the bestselling book of phone scripts on this list of books to help you have a killer 2017?

If you are in sales, then this is a must have. Let’s face it: 80 – 90% of the objections and stalls you get are the same, day in and day out. You will be 100% more effective if you just take the time to script out the best practice ways of dealing with them. It’s called being prepared.

Plus, this is the gift that keeps on giving with over $500 worth of extra bonuses including a ½ hour, one on one, consult with me personally. I can help you revise your opening script or go over your closes with you, etc. And no strings attached!

See it here: http://mrinsidesales.com/completescripts.htm

So there you have it. 5 (actually 6) books that will help you set goals and achieve them. Give yourself something that will continue giving for the rest of your life.

Avoid this “Ghost” of Christmas Future

For December, I’m reading the classic tale: “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens. Oddly, I can’t remember ever reading it, though I’ve seen countless versions made for TV and movies. It’s fantastic, just like most books are that have been made into movies. Dickens is a superb writer, and there is a reason this is a “classic.”

While reading this, it reminded me of an encounter I had that was a chilling reminder of the bad “Ghost of Christmas Future” I narrowly avoided all those years ago. Here’s what happened:

I was on my way to work with a new client one day when I stopped at Starbucks for a cup of coffee. As I stood in line, I glanced out the window and saw a city bus stop and a bunch of people got off. One guy – mid 40’s, tall and lanky – started walking towards the Starbucks, and there was something about the way he was walking that was familiar to me.

When he entered the store, I recognized him from many years before when we were both struggling inside sales reps trying to sell investments over the phone. His name was Brad. After I got my coffee, and he got his, he came up to me and said, “You’re Mike Brooks, right?” “Yes” I said. “Hey, we used to work together!” he said. “I remember,” I said.

He asked me what I was up to these days, and I told him I had become a consultant in inside sales, and that I was off to work with a new client. I asked him what he was up to and this is when the chill hit me. He said he was starting a new sales job today, and then he rolled his eyes as if to say, “And this one will suck, too.”

We walked out of the store together, and said goodbye and went our separate ways. He went to wait at the next bus bench, and I got into my Mercedes and drove away.

As I sipped my coffee and listened to the tunes in my plush car, I thought about how different our lives had turned out and wondered what happened to make them so different. As I did, I knew exactly what it was.

During our time together, the owners of the company brought in a sales trainer, a guy named Stan Billue, to motivate us. Stan spoke to us for an hour about what makes the difference between the top money earners in sales versus all the other sales reps.

He said that you have a choice to either commit to learning and using proven scripts and sales techniques that would double or triple your income, or you would just keep doing what you were doing (ad-libbing), and then you’d just keep getting what you had been getting.

Stan said: “If you are willing to do what most sales reps aren’t willing to do, then soon you’ll be able to enjoy the things, the lifestyle, and the future that most sales reps will never be able to enjoy.”

I was sold. Brad wasn’t.

I invested in Stan’s cassette series, “Double Your Income Selling Over the Phone.” I committed to learning, practicing, and doing what he suggested. My sales and income soared.

Brad thought what Stan taught was just a bunch of old sales techniques that wouldn’t work for him.

Brad thought he knew better.

Brad didn’t believe in using scripts.

“I’ll sound like a telemarkerter,” he said. “I have to go with the flow because each prospect is different,” he persisted.

Brad didn’t believe in putting in the time, energy or money to get better.

So he didn’t.

Fast forward to our Starbucks encounter. Over 20 years had passed between that Stan Billue talk, and I realized, that seminar was the moment I made the decision to change my life.

When Brad showed up that day, he was the Ghost of Christmas Past that could have become my Ghost of Christmas Future.

My life has changed because of Stan’s material, my commitment to investing in other sales material, and then learning and using it diligently. My life is infinitely better because I did, and I have no doubt that had I not invested, learned and used proven selling techniques, it would have been me that was taking a bus to my next, new job.

It sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.

The moral here is that you, too, can avoid the Ghost of Christmas Past from becoming your future. There are a lot of great sales training books, CD’s, and courses you and your team can take advantage of to get better.

One of the best (in my humble opinion) is my “Complete Book of Phone Scripts.” Over 200 word for word phone scripts that will make you better in just about any situation you find yourself in.

Plus, you get over $500 in free bonuses by some of the leaders in the business like Jeffrey Gitomer, Tom Hopkins, Jed Blount, and more.

You also get a ½ one-on-one coaching call with me personally. I can role play with you, write scripts for you, answers your questions. You get all that for just $49.

So why not give yourself a gift this season?

Get it here: http://mrinsidesales.com/completescripts.htm

If you don’t want to invest in my material, no problem. Find someone else you respect and invest in theirs. Bottom line is any investment you make in your career will pay for itself, month in and month out.

Make this best holiday season you’ve ever had. Invest in yourself!

Top Characteristic Part Ten: Invest Daily in Your Attitude

Now that you have resigned from the company club, you can use that time and energy to do the one thing that will have the most impact on your performance and your life: Find ways to build up your attitude on daily basis.

Before we get in to some ways to do that, let me emphasize the importance of investing time and energy every day to improving, strengthening and elevating your attitude. The “every day” part is the key. Think about it:

How many times a day do you eat? If you’re like most people, then you probably eat three times a day and have some snacks in between. Now let me ask you: If you skipped breakfast, how would you be feeling by, say, 11am? Cranky? Hungry? Unable to concentrate much?

How about if you also skipped lunch that day? How would you be feeling around, say, 3:30pm? Would you be ready for that big presentation? Or that meeting with your sales manager or boss?

O.K., now let’s say you got home by 6pm and you didn’t eat anything all day. How would you be around your wife and kids? (Or roommate or girl/boyfriend?) Would you want to be around you?

Now imagine going two days without food. Try three. I think we could all agree you’d be pretty much worthless by then (if not way before!).

The reason I bring this up is that your mind, your attitude, needs feeding just like your body does. If you don’t make a concerted effort to feed it regularly, then it, too, will get sluggish and worthless. If you don’t spend active time feeding your mind, feeding your attitude positive material, then you will be more susceptible to negativity, more susceptible to members of the club, and each time you have a bad outcome – client doesn’t reload, new prospect doesn’t buy, you don’t make your lead numbers – you’ll get more and more discouraged.

And if you let that happen, then you’ll begin searching for reasons why you won’t succeed. And if you let that continue, you’ll find them or you’ll make them up…

Top producers always spend time consciously feeding their minds positive stories and positive examples and cultivating a “can do,” positive attitude. They spend time taking in other positive thinker’s ideas and strategies, and they purposefully employ those strategies in their lives. They are constantly listening to audio books, or reading (or re-reading) books on how to get better and do better. Many top performers also spend time with affirmations and visualizations along linked to purposeful and motivating goal setting.

And all this pays off. Those producers who are in the habit of developing a vision, and who dedicate themselves to achieving it – no matter what – those are the top producers, the top athletes, and other top performers who always out perform their competition.

But it all starts by making a commitment to developing, feeding and cultivating a positive, can do attitude. And the key, again, is to do this daily (several times a day, actually).

So how do you get into the habit of doing this? A good start is to find the medium that works best for you. If you are a reader, then get some books that resonate with you and commit to reading a certain amount of pages each day.

If you prefer audio books, then get those books on MP3 and listen to them on the way to and from work or when you get home, or at the gym, or when you’re walking the dog.

One resource I still work with today are subliminal recordings. Subliminal recordings are great because they speak right to your subconscious mind which runs just about everything in your life. I listen to recordings either during meditation or during relaxation sessions. I also use them to go to sleep with sometimes. A great resource for these can be found here.

Another good thing to do is to pick up a few books or audio programs on setting goals. Just listing what it is you’re going to accomplish this year (or what’s left of it) can be highly motivating by itself. As soon as you define your vision, you’ll find that you begin to automatically feel more positive and motivated. When setting goals, just remember:

Whatever you want to have or achieve is possible. Other people around the world are having and achieving the very thing that lives in your heart. If they can have it and do it, so can you! But you’ll need to work for it first. You’ll probably need to rearrange your consciousness so that it can fit a new expectation of what you believe is possible. And this is where affirmations are useful.

Affirmations are simply statements or images that you feed yourself, thoughts and emotions that you tend to dwell on all the time. Everybody uses affirmations – you’re using them right now. The problem is that most people are using the wrong affirmations and getting the things they don’t want as a result.

The reason for this is that most peoples’ random self-talk is incredibly negative. That’s where affirmations come in. Affirmations are nothing more than carefully constructed words, phrases and stories that you design in advance that support the goals you’ve identified are important for you.

There are many books on this subject, and you can easily do a search and find the one(s) that speak to you.

But affirmations are key to you feeling positive about yourself and your career, and for helping you maintain the positive attitude that will enable you to persevere and succeed.

With all of the resources above: books, CD’s/MP3’s, subliminal recordings, goal setting, affirmations, etc., you’ll be able to put together a varied and full course of “food for your attitude” that you’ll be able to munch on throughout your day.

If you’re not doing this now, or have stopped, then start today. It is amazing how just a little bit of positive energy can turn around a day, a week, month and a whole life. Remember, all top producers have a positive, can do attitude. If you don’t believe me, then get around one of them – their attitude is contagious. Yours needs to be, too.

In ending this series on the Top Ten Characteristics of Top Performers, I hope you’ve seen some ideas that resonate and that you feel will work for you. Just adopting a few of these habits will have a dramatic effect on your career in sales, and on your life in general. Hopefully you’re already using some of the characteristics, and you already know how valuable they are.

Make a commitment today to put even more of them to work for yourself. I guarantee the more you use, the better you’ll feel and the better you’ll perform.

NEXT – The Most Important Word In Sales

I was talking to a real estate agent the other day about the importance of disqualifying leads, and he told me an interesting story about their office’s top producer. He was talking to her one day and asking her what she did that made her so successful. She said her secret could be summed up with one word. When he asked what it was she said:

NEXT.

The moment I heard him tell me that I was in total agreement. I told him that was what I was trying to teach him with my disqualifying method. The majority of people you speak with, I told him, are never going to be a deal. The problem 80% of sales reps make is they spend time with them anyway, sending information, making multiple appointments, and begging and chasing the deal.

The Top 20% producers? Their attitude is – NEXT. And that’s when he said something interesting. He said he was afraid to let go because he didn’t want to chance losing a sale.

“If you don’t know after qualifying and listening to your prospect what it’s going to take to get the sale, or who isn’t a real buyer, then you’ve got problems — big problems.” I told him.

“I guess I kind of know but you can never be sure,” he said.

I’m here to tell you that it’s that attitude that separates the bottom 80% of sales reps from the Top 20%! The Top 20% know when to say, and aren’t afraid of saying, NEXT.

If you’d like to learn the Secrets of Top 20% and how to identify buyers and stop wasting time with non-buyers, here are a couple of things you should do:

#1) Go to http://mrinsidesales.com/ultimatescripts.htm and get the book of proven, word for word scripts that will help you qualify real buyers and teach you how to disqualify out the time wasters – so you can say NEXT sooner and save your energy….

#2) If you want even more Top 20% techniques, then watch these free webinars: http://mrinsidesales.com/webinartraining.htm

The sooner you learn to identify and spend time with qualified buyers, the easier it will be for you to say NEXT…..

The Key to Using Your Imagination

I’m reading a great book this summer about the power of using your imagination, called “The Law and the Promise” by Neville. It’s the kind of book that adds very fine distinctions to the concept of the Law of Attraction, and acts almost like a graduate level work on the subject. It’s the kind of book that reminds you what you think you already know about the power of setting specific goals and visualizing their accomplishment, but it does so in a way that makes you go, “Ah hah!”

The key that I took from it is the distinction between thinking of an image or goal realized and thinking from the image instead. This difference is so important, that it means the difference between a vision or goal being manifested or not.

The book points out that everyone uses their imagination, and the way most people use it is to think about something. In other words, they imagine something – a new car, more money, a new home, etc. – and they think about what it looks like, or they visualize the image as being out there. For example, everyone can hold the image of a beach in their minds – everyone can visualize it. The imagination can create virtually any image and think about it. That’s how most people use their imagination.

The difference in thinking from the image rather than of the image is that when you think from the image, you become part of it. It ceases to be an abstract concept, and instead, by entering into the wish fulfilled, you feel its accomplishment and thereby manifest it much faster. As Neville says, everything we see is created by focused and sustained thought through imagination, and fastest way to sustain that thought is to think and feel from the image manifested.

What this means in practice is that it’s crucial to create an image and then to inhabit it by feeling, seeing, hearing, sensing, acting as if it has been manifested. The sooner you do that, the sooner it will come into being.

Neville has many other golden nuggets in this book, like:

“Imagine better than the best you know.”

“If we live in the dream – thinking from it – and not of it, then the creative power of imagining will answer our adventurous fancy, and the wish fulfilled will break in upon us and take us unawares.”

“The drama of life originates in the imagination of man.”

“Life would undergo a change of appearance because we ourselves had undergone a change in attitude.”

I love that last quote about attitude. I’ve written many times about how changing our attitudes can change everything else too. Remember it was Zig Ziglar that said, “It’s our attitude, not our aptitude that determines our altitude.”

If you are looking for another book to add to your summer reading, then pick up this gem and read it today. It’s a fast read (you could read it in an afternoon), but it is a rich read as well. All books of truth are. I hope that learning to live from your dreams help you manifest them even sooner.

3 Secrets to Reaching Your Financial Goals in 2013

Now that December is here, it is time for me to solidify my goals for 2013. As always, I balance and set goals in all areas to maximize my growth as a person and as a professional. I have goals for health that include a targeted lifetime eating plan; goals for my business that emphasize professional growth; goals for creative expression that include writing and photography; goals for relaxation that include Europe and a lot more NFL football games!

When it comes to setting and reaching these goals, I use a simple and proven 3 step process that virtually assures that I reach my goals. I’m going to lay it out here as it applies to a financial goal, but recognize that this method applies to the success of reaching ANY goal. Here’s what you do:

Secret #1: The first step is to be absolutely precise on the desired goal. While you may have heard this before, it’s still amazing that many people I work with don’t practice this. For example, I still ask people what their financial goal is and they tell me, “earn more money than I made last year.” If you earn $1.50 more in 2013, then you will have reached your goal, won’t you?

Instead, you need to know the exact amount. In determining that number, I always look at each month, factor in vacations, holidays, projects, etc., and then I add up each month and come up with an EXACT figure. And then I add 20% more!

Once I have that “stretch goal,” I break it down again per month and write each month’s specific dollar goal everywhere so I’m looking at it each day of every month. I post it on my desk, in my car, in the bathroom; I know exactly what I’m going to accomplish each and every day.

I also adjust it per my production for that day so it is a fluid and ever changing number. Sometimes the daily amount gets bigger as the week goes on, and sometimes it gets smaller (depending on my production each day). But the point is that it is specific and exact, and I’m always aware of what my daily, monthly and yearly, specific dollar amount goal is for each and every day.

If you haven’t done this yet (especially the “add 20%”), then do it before January 1, 2013. You’ll be amazed how much this will keep you motivated and into action. And you’ll be amazed by your increased production!

Secret #2: Get clear on where every dollar of your income is going to go. Ask yourself: “What am I going to do with all the money I’m going to earn this year?” How much are you going to save by the end of the year? How much debt are you going to pay off? Are you going to buy a new car? Pay for your kid’s education? How much do you have budgeted for vacation? How about taxes? How about retirement?

These are just some of the questions you need to get in the habit of asking yourself this month, and you need to be completely clear on exactly where each dollar is going and where you’re going to be financially by the end of 2013. Having this kind of clarity and purpose helps keep you focused and disciplined, and it has a magical effect on how the Universe helps you accomplish your specific financial goal.

Now I know that things come up, but when you have every dollar accounted for, you’ll be amazed at how you can earn extra money to handle the unexpected. That’s just how it works. But I have found that when I’m crystal clear on how much I’m going to earn and what I’m going to accomplish as a result of it, my focus is razor sharp and I remain motivated each and every day.

In addition, when you know why you’re working so hard and what for, you’re ready to put secret number three into effect:

Secret #3: Once you are clear on your exact financial goal and know what you are going to get as a result of it, you can now practice one of the most important parts of any goal accomplishment: acting as if you’ve already attained your goal. If you’ve ever read any book on the Law of Attraction, then you know all about the importance of accepting and believing on a subconscious level that you already have what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

The Law is simple: the Universe responds to what you feel and believe to be true. If you think you’re broke or that your territory is poor or that you can’t do something, then you’ll find evidence to support your belief and you’ll act (or not act!) accordingly. If you believe the opposite, then you’ll find a way to keep taking actions to accomplish what you believe is possible, and the Universe will provide you with the opportunities to confirm what you believe.

But the key is to believe it has already happened. By acting as if you are already the top producer at your company, or by going to sleep at night already feeling the feelings of having accomplished your goal, you’ll act like a magnet for the success you’ve already determined is yours.

By acting as if you’ve accomplished your goal, you’ll automatically and easily take the actions necessary to achieve them. Suddenly it will be “like you” to come in earlier, to make more calls, to qualify better, etc. I have found that acting as if is the most important thing I have ever done to catapult me into new earning levels and new conditions in my life.

And I have found that it ALWAYS works. Whether I believe I can or I can’t, I’m always right.

There are lots of ways to achieve the “being state” of acting, feeling and experiencing your success in advance, but my favorite is to write and read affirmations that are rich in feeling and emotion. There are many books out there that will teach you how to do that, and I recommend you invest in them today.

The bottom line is that when you follow these three secrets to successful goal attainment, you will become unstoppable. There will no longer be road blocks, and no outside element will ever permanently get in the way of your accomplishing any goal you’ll set. You see, there is always a way to achieve anything you can dream of. And if you’re absolutely clear on what it is, know exactly why you’re going for it, and can feel and live as if you’ve already accomplished it, then nothing can stop you from attaining it.

I encourage you to use this month to put these secrets into your goal planning for 2013. If you do, then next year at this time you will be reaching for even more aggressive goals because you’ll have discovered the real secrets to performance in life.

All the best for 2013!

Summer Sales Slow? 5 Things to do NOW!

I don’t know about you, but in the middle of July business slowed down and after that it nearly stopped… We do have business, of course – very much like you – but the pace of business, the new leads and especially the urgency of the first half of the year seem gone…

What happened??

Summer happened, that’s what. As I speak to clients and colleagues (those who aren’t on their family vacations that is) they tell me the same thing – many of their bosses, co-workers, suppliers or business partners are either on vacation, just coming back from a vacation, or just about to take a vacation.

In fact, many people I know are taking as much as three to four weeks off! (I just spoke with a potential coaching client, and when I asked him when he was thinking of starting our coaching relationship, he told me it would be after his month long vacation in August). He and his wife will be back right before Labor Day.

So there you have it. Business is seasonal. Kids get out of school and the weather changes. Heck, I can’t even reach half my Canadian clients until mid way through September! People have worked hard and are now ready to take some time off. Business changes, people relax, and they won’t start thinking about their initiatives until right before the fourth quarter.

Does this mean companies aren’t buying or planning for the fall? Of course not. It just means that they are going to begin doing things on their time table right now, not yours.

So here are 5 things you can do to not only make sales right now, but also to set yourself up for the strongest end of the year you’ve ever had:

1) Don’t let up. Keep working hard – if not harder. Make more calls. Send more emails, stay later and come in earlier. The time you put in now may not seem to pay off right away, but in the fall you’ll see the fruits of this labor.

It reminds me of the “dog days of summer” in NFL training camps. I still remember what Bill Parcells told his players in late December when they were about to begin a drive that would determine whether they got into the playoffs or not. He looked at his exhausted linemen and said: “This is why you lift all those damn weights!”

The effort you put in now will make the difference at the end of this year…

2) Connect with established clients. This is the perfect time to send a card, to make a call, and to talk with clients about things other than business. For example, where are they going for summer vacation?

Face it – if things are slow for you, they are probably slow in their business as well. How about asking what they are doing to deal with this period and what they are doing to get ready for the fall. And how about asking what you can do to help them?

3) Work on improving your sales skill set, or work on a new product development or other part of your business that will make a difference in the second half of the year. If any of you have thought about developing a greeting card campaign to stay in front of your customers and prospects, this is the perfect time to do it!

Some of you know that I use sendoutcards.com to keep in front of my clients and prospects, and did you know that you can now use that same system without a sign up fee? Click Here to find out how. Just use this number to try this system out for free: 83661

Why not design a card with a picture of yourself and family on YOUR vacation and send it to all your clients and prospects. That’ll give you something to talk about when you call in September.

4) Make goals for September through December and develop a plan of action to accomplish them. Develop an affirmation card and goal sheet of what you’re going to earn, what it’s going to feel like over the holidays to have accomplished it and begin smiling each day as you feel the feelings of having done it.

Remember, “Fear Pushes, and Vision Pulls.” Use this time to create a compelling vision of the rest of the year for yourself and let that vision pull you through the summer. If you would like some help with Goal Setting, Click Here.

5) Feed your mind a positive daily diet. This is the time to feed your mind every single day (and many times during the day as well). My favorite book to re-read during each summer is: “Beyond Positive Thinking” by Dr. Robert Anthony. You can get it on Amazon.com

I’ll bet you have your own list of positive reading material you’d like to finally read. Pick one book tonight, put it on your desk and commit to reading it before next holiday. That alone will make a huge difference for you.

The most important thing to remember during the summer is that “This too shall pass.” If business has slowed down, that will change. And if you take advantage of any of the five suggestions above, you’ll be more prepared than your competition to prosper when it does…