We are in the last month of the year. Obvious I know, but I’m always amazed by the many sales clients that come rushing in that they haven’t met goal yet and they are trying to achieve club membership or credits which is based on total sales. I question them where were they in January or June? They likely haven’t been setting SMART goals in any of the previous 11 months.
I always talk about GOALS starting in January not October through December. In particular SMART goals, which is an acronym for:
Personally, I believe that its you and your family that you are working for and you need to reach your goal personally, first. If you don’t have that in order what are the chances that you will meet company goals?
Let’s look more carefully at each piece of this word “SMART”.
We all know the excitement of a new year leads people to think grand thoughts. “I’m going to lose 50 pounds.” “I’m going to exercise every day.” “I’m going to eat healthier.” The problem with all of those statements is how general they all are. Unless you get specific about achieving goals, you’re like a boat without a rudder, drifting at the will of the waves. Maybe you will reach shore, but which shore?
When you begin to talk about goals, you need to list each as a specific goal, with as much detail as you can form. Instead of saying “increase my sales,” you need to say “increase my sales 10 percent by contacting 25 more people every week.” That gives your goal a little sharper image, with a better aim at where you want to head.
Numbers are the best way to check your goals and objectives. It could be a set number of contacts, a percentage of sales, a dollar amount. They are concrete, and easy to compare against your own performance. Measuring progress is like having someone on the sidelines during a marathon, telling you to run faster or keep up the good work. If you struggle with the accountability of numbers jn achieving goals, hire a coach to help you. That basic investment will pay off as you will be more likely to hit your numbers.
Be enthusiastic and use goal setting to elevate your business, but don’t go overboard. Setting a high goal that is not realistic can undermine all of your efforts to succeed, and you end up discouraged. Start with smaller benchmarks toward accomplishing the goal you’re setting, and each victory will buoy you to the next. A specific goal will also help you attain success because it’s clear and something you can visualize. Set yourself up for success with such goals that will keep you climbing, but won’t overwhelm you before you even begin.
If setting a goal is the starting gun, results are the finish line. Always set a goal focused on what successful results look like. So, when your goal is to grow your client base by 10 percent in each of the first 3 months of the year, keep the results of higher commissions, or a more secure position in your career in front of you as well. People don’t run a race simply to run. They run to finish, and for the feeling of accomplishment that crossing the finish line brings. Set your course, but always see the finish line.
Similar to measurable, time-based goals set a hard target date by which you want to complete them. Procrastination is the thief of success, and setting deadlines for your goals creates a sense of urgency to keep on track, each day, until you achieve success. Here too is where having a good mentor or coach can help you stay true to your goals by meeting regularly to chart your progress.
Remember that here, too, you need to keep it real. Know what time frame will stretch you a little without being impossible or unattainable. Without it being too easy, you want to make success a reality with realistic goals.
I mentioned earlier that it’s important overall to make sure you are meeting personal goals first before you worry about your company’s. What success is for people is personal and unique, and before you launch into your SMART goal setting, remember that they need to be relevant to you and your personal goals. While the customer is always first, you need to make sure they are getting your best. And the only way to do that is to examine your own abilities, strengths and goals.
A new year 2018 is just around the corner, so focus your energies now on setting goals to start the year rather than fret about how you can meet your year’s goals in the next couple of weeks.