I moved to Austin, Texas a few months ago. Alone, with my dog as my only friend. I left all of my lifelong family and friends behind. I drove into town, not knowing where I was going to live, with a very big hope that I had not made a bad decision.
I quite literally was hired over the phone and immediately got on a plane for sales training, where I finally met my boss and two co-workers. I had no idea if what I joined (this new sales team) was going to be successful or not. But, being in sales I knew it was crucial to re-build my network of people from the ground up. So, I immediately set out to join local networking groups and “get myself out there”.
Let me tell you a little history about myself. Previously, I have been an accountant for most of my adult life. It wasn’t something I chose, it was just one of those things that happened and evolved as I got better and better. It fit me well. I was never much of a social person, I am good at Math and I love Science. In school, I had a handful of close friends. I loved school and always wanted to do my best. But I am not the life of the party, not the class clown, I don’t tell great jokes – I’ve always preferred to find the person standing by themselves outside of the group and go make friends with them. I would rather make one really meaningful connection, than a multitude of surface acquaintances. I prefer quality over quantity. However, sales can be a numbers game.
Being new in a town that is bursting at the seams with thousands of other “new in town” folks – I needed to come up with a strategy that would serve a few different goals.
- Networking and meeting new people is NOT an inherent skill for me. Being in sales for the last five years, I completely understand how important it is to push myself beyond my comfort zone. It’s easy for me to find excuses not to “get out there”. Especially, in a new town where I don’t know ANYONE, I don’t know my way around, and just generally don’t have a clue about how to get started.
- I am working for a new division that’s a startup. We have no client base, our product is relatively unheard of, and I am the only one on the team that has ever sold this product. I need to meet a lot of people, and I need to do it pretty quickly. I am not a hunter or a hard sell salesperson – and I believe that soft sell techniques work much better, especially with the type of product I sell. Relationship sales are where it’s at now.
So, I developed my own strategy – and it has been beyond successful!!! I made a goal to meet 1,000 new people this year. This became my mantra and my “elevator pitch”. I quickly became – “that woman trying to meet 1,000 people”. It is memorable and it attracts people to me. I began taking selfies with people and tracking everyone I met on Instagram. It is easy to talk about, it doesn’t make me seem salesy, and most people want to be one of the 1,000. I even made t-shirts that say, “I am new to Austin, and I have a goal to meet 1,000 new people. Will you help me?” People love it!!
I have had people tell me I am brave and inspirational, and they love to follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see how I am progressing. Today I am writing this to challenge YOU. What goal can you set for yourself? How can you be brave? How can you inspire others? I won’t tell you how to set a goal for yourself – but I will encourage you to STRETCH yourself. Get uncomfortable… it’s how we grow! Goals should be attainable, but they should truly change you. We don’t set goals to stay where we are today. We want something different, so we must DO something different.
I would be completely fine if you copied my goal – if it serves what you want to accomplish. Then go TELL someone what your goal is – this holds you accountable (this step is crucial). I would love it if you would share your goal with me! Let’s work on achieving our goals together. It makes it so much easier when we don’t feel like we are in this alone. We can be one another’s cheerleaders – this is what makes something that is uncomfortable – FUN!!
The last thing I would really encourage you to do is dig deep. I could have set a goal to make X number of sales within X amount time. A superficial goal can be something you want – money, house, car, job, relationship, or health. But think deeper than that – what can you challenge yourself to do that would CHANGE YOU to get to those surface goals. Before you GET what you want; you have to DO something to get there. What are you willing to change about yourself to get what you want? Make that change into a goal. I had to become social and meet a lot of people, shake a lot of hands, stand up in a room full of people and talk about myself – none of these things come naturally to me, they are uncomfortable. I set a goal that would encourage me to DO those things. Once I reach this goal, I’ll simply set a new goal. It may be similar, or it may be completely different. So, think about what might make you more successful in life. Does it challenge you? Is it realistic? Who can you be accountable, truly accountable to? Do you REALLY want this change? If the answer to all these questions is “Yes!”, then you are on the right track. If you need help with a setting a goal or working on a goal – I would love to help! Contact me – you can be one of my thousand!