This is part of the ‘Ask Tristan’ series.  If you have a question, please email me: [email protected]


Q: Tristan, how do you keep staff morale up to hit sales targets when we seem to be missing them every month? I feel that I am setting realistic targets. Do I set a poor and easily achievable target to push up morale or do I keep setting targets that are in line with what I feel we should be able to achieve? - JB

A: Dear JB,

Firstly, take a deep breath, you’re not alone on this one! Driving consistent sales is really tough.

Next, don’t set a short-term low target, that just reduces your expectations.  You need to find a way to hit your targets and every time you do, you have to celebrate! Success creates more success. 

In my experience, setting goals for someone else is risky business.  I’m very rarely inspired by someone else’s target or goal. The same applies to getting your team motivated, they have to feel like it’s their goal. To get your team focussed on achieving your sales targets I think you need to consider two things:

  1. Involve your team in the goal setting
  2. Make chasing the target more fun

Now you might be thinking that only you, as the business owner/manager, can know what expenses you have and therefore sales you need to create a decent profit. In my experience, the more you share with your team, the greater their commitment, understanding and loyalty will be. You don’t have to share all your financials just yet if that makes you uncomfortable, but, at the very least, share some numbers so your team can understand where you’re coming from.  (Whatever profit you’re making, I’ll bet your team thinks it’s at least 2-3 times more!  Be honest with them).

As far as making chasing the target fun, how about breaking the monthly target down to daily goals and having a mini-reward for hitting the target each day?  The mini-reward doesn’t even have to cost you anything, it could be parking in your car space or starting work 15-mins later. Be creative.

Good luck!