When we began our sales careers, most of us were told what our goals were. That is, how much we were expected to sell. For some, making that goal was easy. For others, it wasn't.

The most important things about goal setting are to write your goals down and see that someone holds you accountable. I think the goal of every salesperson should be to sell a million dollars' worth of business a year.

Have a goal you want to reach? There are two ways to do it. First, find someone who's done what you want to do. I have a friend who couldn't sell more than $600,000 a year until he met a guy doing a million. My friend now sells $1.5 million, with less effort.

For those of you who tend to be more structured, there's another way. Here's how you figure it: (1) What's the amount of your average contract? (2) How many selling days are there in the month and how many of those days will you be working? (3) What's your closing ratio? How many folks do you need to see to sell a job? (4) How many prospects can you see in a day? A week?

Most of us have little control over how many selling days are in a month. Nearly everything else, however, can be adjusted. We can improve our closing ratio. One more sale out of every 10 appointments makes a huge difference. Setting more appointments will also move you toward your goal. You may be unable to see one more prospect per day, but you can see one more per week. What would seeing 52 more prospects a year do for you? What about your average job price? If you worked to increase that by, say, 10% by looking for 10% more work from each of your customers, where would you be?

Set a goal, and chances are good that you'll reach it. When I was selling, I set my goal each month not by what I sold but by how much I wanted to make. Once I set it, it was amazing how everything else sort of fell in place. —Phil Rea has conducted more than 13,200 in-home sales calls and trained more than 1,750 salespeople. He shares his sales strategies each month with salespeople across the country through his MasterMind Program. For more information, call 866.441.7445.