7 Deadly Sins of Sales Goals

This post was inspired by Mike Williams and gazillions of "How to Set Sales Goals in 2014" articles that were posted recently and will be posted in the near future.

I was going to comment that Mike write a post about the 10 commandments or the seven deadly sins or the virtues and relate each to a plus or a minus in sales, but then I decided to use the sins idea myself. He's a reader. He'll get it.

I picked goals because I think that many salespeople are after the wrong stuff.

Seven deadly sinsSo, if you didn't go to Catholic School and have the nuns warning you about the seven deadly sins being a one way ticket to you know where, the links will bring you up to speed. Incidentally, before we proceed, allow me to remove all blame from you. Look at the pictures that I found on the web to depict the seven deadly sins. Doesn't sin look inviting, desirable, worthy of pursuit? You probably couldn't help yourself. Everybody else is after them. They look attractive. Go for it. Not your fault.

OK! So....

Vanity is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others. It is identified as believing that one is essentially better than others, failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, and excessive admiration of the personal self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God). Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbour".

Vanity works into our goals and behavior when we post and promote our own blog articles rather than other's articles. Twist this. Rather than setting a goal that you'll post 2, 3, 5 times a week and post links to your articles in every LinkedIn group, 1,000 times on Twitter and all over Facebook, try commenting on 3-5 articles written by other people every week. Add your spin, your point of view, your perspective. Then, tweet the article saying that you commented. If your comments are remarkable, the author will like you and their readers will seek you out.

Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. Gluttony can be interpreted as selfishness; essentially placing concern with one's own interests above the well-being or interests of others.

I've had business owners tell me, "Get the sales. We'll figure out how to deliver." My attitude is that if you're not good at it, I don't want you practicing on my dime. Stop thinking about selling, qualifying and money. Solve people's problems. Help them reach their goals. Set a goal that you're going to ask every prospect/client frequently, what could I being doing better for you.

Avarice is to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of material possessions. This is a toughie because goals need to be measurable in dollars, right? Don't we need to have so many demos, to get so many sales, to get commissions to buy the things? This got changed for me when my mentor got me to be 'other-centered'. My wife, sons, mother, grandchildren and others that are important to me ask and I deliver. For them. I don't need to want as long as people that I care about want. Try it. You'll like it. My clients typically wind up in this group forever.

Sloth is sometimes defined as physical laziness. Failing to develop spiritually is key to becoming guilty of sloth. Sloth has also been defined as a failure to do things that one should do or the failure to utilize one's talents and gifts. The penalty for sloth is running continuously at top speed. OMG! Sound familiar? Do what you're good at? Practice what you preach? Focus? How about setting a goal of attracting and converting clients that want to attract and convert clients the same way you did them?

Envy is similar to jealousy in that they both feel discontent towards someone's traits, status, abilities, or rewards. The difference is the envious also desire the entity and covet it. Dante defined this as "a desire to deprive other men of theirs". We are NOT somebody else. We are who we are and we should establish our goals based on our values, our needs, our families. If results appear to come easier for someone else, it could be due to stuff that they did before you knew them. So, even if you did everything that they did this year, if they start with an advantage, it's theirs until you can tip the scales. 

Wrath may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Feelings of anger can manifest in different ways, including impatience, revenge, and self-destructive behavior. Most won't admit to wrath or hatred, but doesn't it piss you off when prospects lie, change their mind or don't do what they said they'd do? That is emotional involvement and that causes you to lose control of your process. Seek to understand rather than be understood might be helpful.

Lust is an intense desire. It is usually thought of as excessive sexual want; however, the word was originally a general term for desire. Therefore lust could involve the intense desire of money, food, fame, or power as well. In Dante's Purgatorio, the penitent walks within flames to purge himself of lustful/sexual thoughts and feelings. In Dante's Inferno, unforgiven souls of the sin of lust are blown about in restless hurricane-like winds symbolic of their own lack of self-control to their lustful passions in earthly life. It was the lack of self-control that did it for me. Will you focus on your goal all year long or will you change it every time some shiny new opportunity presents itself? Lust may also manifest if you are easy on yourself such as procrastination, so you can have fun today and put work off until tomorrow.

So, I realize that this didn't lead us to the development of SMART goals, but maybe I raised a few suggestions of criteria that may change the behavior that we choose to measure. You want help?


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