5 Steps to Setting & Reaching Goals

By following this simple, five-step goal-setting formula, anyone can turn their goals and dreams into reality.

Channel Partners

August 26, 2010

6 Min Read
5 Steps to Setting & Reaching Goals

By Jim Tarantino

Research shows that less than 10 percent of people in the business world take the time to set written goals and objectives. In fact, most business people spend more time planning their weekends and vacations than they spend mapping their careers and companies. The three main reasons for this waste of human potential are that people fear failure, think they are too busy or simply don’t know how to set goals.

The solution to this challenge actually is quite simple and can be accomplished one person and one company at a time. The shift can take place from the bottom up as each individual employee starts to set goals, or from the top down as the leaders of the organization focus the company on goal setting. Either way, once business people decide to start setting written goals and objectives, the rest is very easy.

By following the simple five-step goal-setting formula below anyone can turn their goals and dreams into reality.

1. Write down the most important short-term and long-term goals and then establish a target completion date for each. This step of the process answers the two questions of what” the particular goal is and when” you plan to accomplish it.

An example of a short-term goal for a channel partner like you is to increase new customer sales by 20 percent by the end of 2010.

2. Ask yourself why this goal is important. This step is critical as it establishes your true motivation and purpose and provides extra energy when the going gets tough.

In our example goal, increasing sales by 20 percent is important for many reasons. First of all, increasing sales and revenues is one of the only ways to increase over all company profitability. Increasing customer retention and decreasing overhead would be two other obvious ways to impact profitability. Other reasons that increasing sales might be important to your business include helping you meet your carrier contract agreements, enabling you to hire more people, helping you grow the overall customer base and offsetting the effects of attrition.

3. Establish the actual steps to success that need to be taken on a daily basis to turn the goal from a dream into reality. This is the hardest of the five steps since it actually involves committing to action items that you are willing to invest resources into such as time, effort and money.

Your game plan to increase new customer sales by 20 percent might include the following action items:

  • Increase sales force prospecting activity by targeting trade groups, associations, referrals and various vertical markets.

  • Improve marketing materials and proposals.

  • Train the sales force to do a better job on sales presentations specifically focusing on solution selling and problem solving as opposed to just selling on price.

  • Focus more attention on better follow-up activity including providing references, testimonials and bringing in support from carrier partners.

  • Be professionally persistent with all prospects and attempt to close every sale multiple times.

4. Visualize what your or your organization’s life will be like once the goal is accomplished. This is the easiest and most fun of the five steps, yet it is often overlooked. Statistics have shown that the longer and the more intense your visualizations are, the more likely you are to be successful.

By meeting the goal to increase sales by 20 percent, you can imagine how the level of customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and overall job satisfaction will increase. Think about all of the things that your business can do with the additional revenue, ranging from hiring more people to growing the business. 

5. Inspect what you expect by keeping track of the progress and challenges. One way to do this is to make notes in a daily journal about the successes and setbacks you experience in pursuit of your goal. This is a crucial administrative step that acts like the glue that holds the rest together. Many salespeople are not very comfortable with this type of detailed note taking and accounting, but this is an important part of the process that should not be overlooked.

Keeping track of the progress of this campaign to increase sales by 20 percent, one journal entry  might look something like this: The first three months did see a spike in new sales results by 15 percent. However, month four of the project is starting to show a decline of 5 percent. Several of our sales reps are really getting with the program and following the specific five-step game plan, while two of the sales reps have not been able to adapt to the new plan. They may need to be put on performance- improvement plans depending on how this month ends up.  With several months left in the year, significant progress still needs to be made to hit the 20 percent objective.” 

As business people embark on their goal-setting journeys, employing the Law of Attraction can be helpful. While many people have heard about the Law of Attraction from books such as The Secret,” few understand how it can aid goal setting and achievement. The Law of Attraction is basically an invisible force in the universe, which draws your goals closer toward you as you work toward accomplishing them. 


Admittedly, there are plenty of skeptics, but many people embrace the concept and try to harness this mysterious power for their benefit. Explaining why and how this law works is difficult if not impossible, but basically it boils down to the power of positive thinking. As Henry Ford once said, If you think you can, youre right. And if you think you cant, you are right also.”

So, applying the Law of Attraction to your goal of increasing sales by 20 percent, you might find that as the sales force implements the five-step game plan with high levels of quality activity, more and more prospective customers will learn about the benefits of doing business with you. Inevitably, as time goes by some of these prospects who may have heard about the company either directly or indirectly will seek you out and inquire about becoming a customer. Therefore, as you work hard at achieving your goals, your goal (i.e., new customers) is moving toward you as well.

As more business people and organizations invest the time to set goals and objectives, a tipping point will be reached which will unleash incredible amounts of human potential and production. In other words, if the entire company as opposed to just one or two people get behind the goal to increase sales, then the possibility of achieving and even exceeding the 20 percent sales objective becomes very realistic. 

Jim Tarantino is the founder and CEO of

, a business consulting, coaching and training firm. He also is the author of The Annual Success Planner.” Previously, he was a regional director at Allnet Communications, vice president of sales at Telco Communications and senior vice president of sales at Globalcom Communications. 

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