Getting to grips with sales targets - Vanessa Panter

One of the biggest mistakes I see health and wellness coaches making in their business is that they fail to set an annual sales target.

I think it’s because the word ‘sales’ brings up images of men in suits ready to pounce on you and sell you something you don’t want!

But having a sales target is key to keeping you focussed and on track. When I ask the question “How much do you want to make this year?” the answer is often vague.  Often people say ‘shedloads’ or as much as possible, and sometimes the question stumps them completely because they’ve never considered it.

So start with setting an annual sales target. I prefer the word target to goal, as I think target feels more like something to aim at, whereas to me ‘goal’ seems a little dreamy.

 So once you have your annual target what’s next? Well, I like to break to down into monthly milestones, then weekly and even daily if sales aren’t coming in as quickly as I’d like to.

This means that every week (or day) you’ll be focussed on the one thing that you are in business for – to sell.  Please don’t feel uncomfortable with the notion of selling. You have a gift to make a difference to peoples’ lives, you need to let people know about you (marketing) and you need to encourage them to work with you (sales).

Setting your monthly sales target

The simplest way is to divide your annual target by 12.  But there will be months when you can’t work at capacity, especially if it is just you delivering your service.  There’ll be holidays, or maybe times when you are holding events, retreats or workshops. So look at your business strategy plan and adjust your monthly targets up or down accordingly.

If you have planned in promotional activity you should expect to see a spike in sales at that time, so plan those into your targets too.

Growth Targets

If your goal is to grow this year then it might be unrealistic to expect that growth to happen overnight.  Instead set your monthly targets to increase gradually. This will allow your marketing activity to settle in.  As I’m always saying, there is no marketing magic wand for you to wave and sales magically appear!

This approach is more likely to keep you motivated. If you expect to double your sales overnight and it doesn’t happen, you may become disheartened and switch off your marketing effort.

Get SMART

It’s an oldie but a goodie!

 Make your targets SMART:

Specific – give your sales a numerical value.  It could be ££’s or number of clients.

Measurable – how will you keep track?  What are you measuring?  Is it leads in, sales made, money in the bank?

Attainable – Can you deliver these sales on your own, in the time you have?  If not, how can you make this happen?

Relevant – Sales goals should always be relevant, as sales are why we are in business!

Timely – can you achieve what you want to achieve in the time given?

For more on this read my blog post here.

Create Your Marketing Activity Plan

Think about the marketing you will need to implement to achieve your goals.  If you’ve been trading for a while, look at your past results and figure out what has worked, what hasn’t, and what you could do differently in future.  If you’re unclear get help from an expert who can help you review your data and formulate your plan.  If you’re in start-up mode and don’t have the benefit of experience then again you will need to make some assumptions.  Again, asking for help will leave less to chance.

 Having a framework to work through will give you a greater chance of success.

This approach is more likely to keep you motivated. If you expect to double your sales overnight and it doesn’t happen, you may become disheartened and switch off your marketing effort.

Plan your sales activity

While sales and marketing are closely aligned, there are some activities which are definitely more salesy!

  • Networking and attending events where you get to talk about your business face to face with people
  • Trial sessions or discovery calls
  • Chasing up leads
  • Getting bookings made
  • Contacting previous clients to ask them to rebook or buy into a new service or product that your offering

These are all high-touch, often involving speaking to one person instead of many.

Be honest with yourself.  Could you benefit from from some sales training to improve your confidence in handling these situations?  It could make a huge difference to your business success.

Try to do some high-touch activity every week. 

Review, Reflect, Reframe

Schedule in time every month to evaluate your sales activities and results.

Reflect on what has worked, what you need to change, and if you need some help.  Adjust your targets, don’t let a bad month send you off track.   It’s a bit like dieting!  And of course, if you’ve smashed your targets reward yourself.  If you need some motivation think of something special that you can give yourself to celebrate.