I have a confession to make. I used to be scared of numbers when they were related to money. I would rather hide under the table than tackle cashflow forecasts or sales projections – it used to nearly bring me out in hives.
But when I first started working with my coach, Kim Duke, she made me develop some daily numbers habits that have had a huge impact on my business. Kim is the Sales Diva and she thinks like a sales person – she’s always worked with targets and sales forecasts, it’s second nature.
Although I used sales targets in the corporate world for many years I’d never used them for my own business – it’s just me, after all. Sheesh! As if I didn’t have enough to do without updating SPREADSHEETS (yawn). But Kim is a strict coach and I couldn’t hide under the table forever, so I did as she asked.
She made me set up a sales forecast spreadsheet with my targets for each week & month and I update it each time I make a sale. Every time I update it means I’m another step closer to my target.
Now let me share a secret with you.
In the time I’ve been using it, guess what’s happened? I’ve made more money. Lots more money. In fact I’ve made FOUR TIMES more money than I used to make before I had sales targets and my sales forecast sheet. Why? Well, remember that saying of mine ‘wherever you place your attention is where the magic happens’? When I placed my attention on my SALES figures, I started to get SALES. MAGIC.
Don’t get me wrong, the sales fairies didn’t just appear and sort it out for me, I had to work for it but I knew what I was aiming for. Before I would have just trundled along and been vaguely aware of how much I was making – today I know to the penny how much in my account.
I haven’t had to change anything radical. I still do business the same way and I’m still me. I still help people; I haven’t turned into a cold-hearted sales machine. The difference for me is that I can now spot opportunities to attract new clients, sell more to existing clients and build my business, that I just didn’t see when I wasn’t focused on my targets.
My challenge to you this week is to set up a really basic spreadsheet (or a notebook if you can’t face spreadsheets) and put your weekly and monthly sales targets on there. Then update it every time you make a sale. Start focusing on what you want to achieve – place your attention on your targets.
You’ll be surprised how your business grows when you develop this nifty little money-making habit – go on, stop hiding from the numbers and give it a try today!
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.