Hitting your (Sales) Target

arrow-targetEveryone who’s ever been in a selling situation wants to make the sale, close the deal, rack up those bonus points. But sometimes, in our effort to close the deal—to score—we may be aiming at the wrong thing.

Imagine you’re an archer aiming for a target 150 meters downfield. You draw your bow with all your strength, aim dead center at the bullseye, and let ’er fly. About two-thirds of the way down the range, your arrow lands neatly in the grass. As true as your aim seemed to be, gravity pulled your arrow down. You didn’t even reach the target, let alone score a bullseye.

It’s like that in sales too — if you’re only focusing on the sale itself.

But what if you focus higher — on the relationship. Then, like an archer aiming above the target, the track of your arrow forms a perfect arc and thwangs into the bullseye. In fact, the only way to consistently hit the bullseye is to aim above it.

It’s the same with sales. You go into your meeting and you think, “I’ve got to make that sale. That’s what I’m here to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.” That’s like sighting in on the bullseye and forgetting about gravity. You have a good chance of ending up in the dirt, 30 meters short of your goal.

If, instead of focusing all your energy on closing, you focus it on developing a relationship by being truly useful to your potential client, your arrow is more likely to arc smoothly into the bullseye.

Will you score a bullseye every time? Of course not. But your winning shots will be higher — much higher. And here’s the fun part: By aiming at the relationship instead of the sale, you’ll have a much better chance not only of closing this deal, but the one after that and the one after that and the one after that.

So if you want to hit the bullseye, aim above it.

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