Most merchant level salespeople (MLSs) want the most successful outcome for themselves, but they don’t realize the work it takes to be great in sales. Metaphorically, they watch the Olympics and only see the champions and not the painstaking work and dedication leading up to a major win.

Now that we’re in the first month of a brand-new year, what better time is there to revive your passion for sales and set a new sales goal resolution?

If you “set and forget” your goals, then it’s time to create a sales plan that works for you. This requires your full effort, attention, and dedication that helps you keep up a momentum to accomplish exceptional goals.

1. Compare and contrast the future you visualize with the past

The first step to achieving your goals is to reflect on last year’s habits and patterns. What areas can you improve, and what others are working well for you? Imagine yourself in 2019 and the lifestyle that comes with meeting goals. Then take the time to figure out how you can increase your residual to get there. This may require you to make improvements here and there.

2. See your end goal and create stepping stones to get there

This means taking your annual sales goal and breaking it down into smaller goals so there’s a more likely chance of reaching it. By creating milestones, your future goal will seem like a tangible reality rather than a figure or percentage that’s insurmountable to achieve.

Overview your cold call conversion rate and create a daily, weekly, and monthly goal to improve it. This way you’re able to increase your goal of say, closing 30% more deals in 2018. Measuring your success requires consistent effort and dedication. By creating a schedule to keep yourself on track, you’re able to stay focused on the game leading up to the end. Stay motivated!

3. Sub-goals are worth celebrating

Before you reach burn out from being a stellar performer, remember that the smaller goals leading up to the final are just as important.

On the flip side, you run the risk of being discouraged if smaller goals aren’t met and you may start making excuses for yourself. This will slow you down or make you feel like getting back on track needs monumental effort.

The mini stages deserve mini rewards. A good way to reinforce positive behavior is by treating yourself by iPad, weekend trips and taking yourself out to dinner when sub-goals are met.

4. Celebrate small victories along the way

Your path to success should be filled with smaller victories along the way before you reach the ultimate reward. By making a well-defined path, you’re able to set the course with the energy and focus needed. It all begins by creating a first quarter reset with a strength and weakness assessment to win big in 2018.

Mike Ackerman is President of DigiPay Solutions Inc., which specializes in high-risk, high-volume, card-not-present and business-to-business merchant services. Contact him at