It is sometimes simply better to reset a target to something more achievable than plough on with a wildly optimistic and unrealistic target. This article is based on something that happened to me the other day and I learnt an important lesson.

I’d set myself a target for the day of 100 outbound sales calls. I’d had my daily meeting with myself over a bowl of porridge and reviewed what needed doing. There were a couple of things that I needed to do, but then there was sufficient time to make the 100 dials. It was stretching, and not easy, but achievable. Everything a meaningful target should be.

However the ‘other’ activities took longer than expected, and I had a few diversions – some self-inflicted I must add! The point is that I soon realised once I started making the calls in earnest that the target was not going to be achieved. It was impossible. All the positive mental attitude in the world wasn’t going to change that.

If you are attempting the impossible, you will fail – Robert Heller

Simply taking stock, accepting where I was, and setting a new, lower and more achievable but challenging target was the outcome. And perhaps unsurprisingly I worked hard and achieved this new lower target. Overall then I’d achieved a reasonable target and had a productive day. Not what I’d thought first thing that morning, but a good achievement nevertheless.

What I would probably have done usually is allow the target to become a stick to beat myself with. Working hard all day, but feeling defeated, knowing every hour that I wasn’t going to achieve the target.

Ultimately of course all that really counts is what we achieve, what we do, not what we intended to do.

So if your target, or that of your team is impossible, take some time to review the situation. Learn what you can, consult and brief all parties and then set a new target. Then apply yourself with all your efforts and you will achieve much.

Targets are there to motivate, keep you focussed and keep you on track. If they only serve to demotivate you or your team they’re not a force for good are they?

Remember that the key purpose of having targets is to get the best performance possible. And asking the impossible of yourself or others isn’t likely to produce the best outcome is it?

We’re always keen to work with driven, results orientated teams. If you want some external input in the setting of your targets or you’d like to kick around some ideas, then contact us at To Market  by e-mail or alternatively by phone on 01858 461148.  

To Market helps develop outbound lead generation, telesales, and telemarketing teams across the Midlands in Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton, Derby, Nottingham, Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Loughborough, Oakham, Melton Mowbray, Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds, Kenilworth, Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon as well as wider parts of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.