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Maximising Performance

  • Begin with the end in mind

  • As a sales person, you cannot get to your destination, unless you know where your destination is

  • There are 4 key components of backward thinking:

  • Your goals must be in writing

  • If goals are not in writing, they’re dreams

  • Dreams don’t often come true, but goals in writing often do

Here is an example of working backward and a Recruitment Consultant putting their goals in writing


The second component to success through backward thinking is to have a written plan on how you’re going to achieve your goals.

The key is to include;

  • Specific activities into that plan

  • A simple formula for selling success is to first identify then perform the activities necessary to generate sales

  • First part of the formula is to identify the activities, second part is to do them and the third part is to reap the awards 

In most cases, poor performers either haven’t identified the key activities or in most cases simply aren’t regularly doing them. The top 10% of performers in sales are focused on the activities. They will not go home on any given night without finishing those activities

Top producers are unrelenting, if making 50 phone calls have been identified to reaching goals, the top people won’t go home without getting 50 done. The mediocre or poor performers will do 15 – 20 and come up with excuses to work on other activities.

You cannot underscore that point enough that the top people are focused on achieving their activity targets.


  • You should be crystal clear what your sales goal or billings target is for this year

  • Look at the number and ask yourself; “does it have stretch in it, but not so much stretch that it will break me?”

  • Next, break it down into months

  • Next, break in down into weeks

  • Next, once your weekly targets add up to your billings annual target, over 52 weeks, then write down the activities necessary to generate that number

  • If not sure what those activities are, sit with the top producers and observe their activities

  • Work out how much business is going to come from existing customers, how much from new customers and how much from referral business

  • Referral business is the least price sensitive

The final component of thinking backward to your goal accountability:

  • As your manager, I would require you to tell me what you actually accomplished with every activity

  • The process of accountability, more than anything else, induces a sales person to consistently succeed 

  • Success through backward thinking requires us to have our goals in writing, a written plan with specific activities, a system of measuring how many of those activities get done and a system of accountability to help us stay on track 

When you begin with the end in mind, you will be going places.

Stuart Freeman is an Executive Recruitment Consultant in the Insurance space, a blogger, an owner of a high end wine business, and a dad of 3 daughters. He can be contacted directly on

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