Food For Thought For Friday, April 20th, 2012
Impossible Is Nothing
Take a certain goal of yours and double it. Or triple it. Or multiply it by 10. And then ask yourself, quite seriously, what you would have to do to achieve that new goal.
I used this game recently with a friend who holds a position in sales. He came to see me because he was selling $100,000 worth of product each month, the most on his team, and wanted to somehow get to %140,000.
I asked him to tell me what is would take for him to sell $200,000 worth of equipment each month. "2000,000!" he shouted. "That's impossible. I'm leading the team already with $100,000, and nobody thought that could be done."
"What would have to do?" I persisted.
"No," he said. "You don't understand. I want to hit $140,000 a month, and even that is so hard that I don't know how I'll do it."
I finally told him the theory behind this game.
If you seriously look at an outrageous goal, such as $200,000." it will open things up for you creatively that wouldn't have opened up if you stayed looking at $140,000. He nodded slowly and reluctantly agrees to play along for a while.
"Okay," he said. "But remember, we're talking about something that's impossible."
"Fine." I said. "But if your life depended on hitting $200,000 next month, what exactly would you do?"
He laughed and then started listing things as I wrote them down on a flip pad. After he got through the ridiculous ideas, like stealing other people's accounts and cooking the books, he began to think of more ideas. At first it was hard.
"I'd have to be two places at once," he said. "I'd have to make twice as many presentations as I'm making. I'd have to present to two clients at once!"
Then it hit him. All of a sudden he got the idea that he might be able to stage a large presentation of his product with a number of clients in the room at one time. "I could rent a room at a hotel and have 20 people in for coffee and donuts, and I could make a big deal out of it," he said.
A number of other ideas came to him- ways to combine his cold-calling with his travel time, ways to utilize e-mail as a sales tool, how to use the administrative staff better. Idea after idea came to him while I wrote furiously on the pad.
All of the ideas were a result of his thinking big- "How would I sell $200,000 if I absolutely had to?"
He surpassed his goal of $140,000 the very next month!