Goals, or New Year’s Resolutions, can be tricky. You set them when you’re excited about them, but then lose motivation and they get swept under the rug. That’s unfortunate because goals are SO important, especially for independent agents. The freedom that comes with the job can make it incredibly difficult to set and meet your objectives. But don’t fret! You’re not destined to fail! Here at Senior Marketing Specialists we believe in the power of goal setting. The following process makes goals fun, simple, and achievable.
Take some time to write down the things you want (or need) to achieve. This could be anything as small as making more calls or anything as great as buying a Lamborghini. If you want it, you can set a goal for it.
We will use “Make More Calls” as an example for the remaining steps because we know you already have a Lamborghini.
2) Make it Motivating
Does, “Make More Calls,” sound motivating to you? No! Your goal may be something that has to get done rather than something you actually want to do. Most goals end up being like this. Here’s how to make your goals more motivating:
Figure out Why it’s Important
On its own, making calls sounds pretty insignificant, but re-framing the situation helps.
Example: “Making calls is important because I already paid for these leads and it would be a waste of money if I didn’t call in a timely manner.”
The financial commitment alone may be enough for some people, but others might need a little more motivation, like rewards.
Giving yourself a reward after completing your goal also makes it more motivating.
Example: “I will go to lunch when I make more calls.”
Personally, we think food, coffee, or ice cream make great motivators for small goals. (Warning: Saying you’ll go to lunch after you make enough to buy a Lamborghini is ill-advised.)
3) Make it SMART
You may have heard of SMART goals before. This is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based.
Let’s break this down further using our example of, “Make More Calls.” Right now, this goal isn’t very SMART, but we can change that fairly easily.
The best goals are precise. Avoid being vague or generalizing. For example, “Make More Calls,” is too open. What kind of calls? Who are we calling?
The Fix: “Make More Cold Calls to my MO T-65 list.”
Great! Now we know we are cold calling 65 year-olds in Missouri. You could even narrow it down by zip code and decide if a voicemail counts as a call or not.
You must be able to measure your goal or you will never know if you really achieved it. Using specific numbers will usually make your goal measurable. For example, “Make More Calls,” isn’t very measurable. How many is more? One? That won’t put a dent in your list.
The Fix: “Make 20 More Cold Calls from my MO T-65 list.”
Sweet! Now you know exactly how many calls to make.
Set goals that you know you can achieve, but don’t make them too easy. Challenge yourself! “But you said we could set a goal for buying a Lamborghini!” Yeah, I did! Because we believe in you. Moving on.
Your current goal of, “Make 20 More Cold Calls from my MO T-65 list,” is pretty attainable. It’s challenging, but doable. Now, if you want to make 500 calls in an afternoon, I would suggest paring that down.
Make goals that align with the way you want and need to do business. For example, if you have a huge book of current business and you aren’t sure you can handle taking on any more clients, making calls to prospects probably isn’t the best choice.
The Fix: “Make 20 Calls to current clients with birthdays in June.”
This lines up better with the way someone with a huge block of current business might operate.
Give yourself a strict cut-off for your goal’s completion. This helps you actually reach your goals and keep procrastination at bay. For example, “Make 20 More Cold Calls from my MO T-65 list,” doesn’t tell you when these calls must finished. Today? Tomorrow? Next week? Who knows!
The Fix: “Make 20 More Cold Calls from my MO T-65 list by 1:00pm today.”
Now you have a time to work with. This will also allow you to create a timeline for getting your goal done. Maybe you want to knock them all out at once, or maybe you want to spread them throughout the day. Either way, you know they all must be finished by 1:00pm.
4) Make it Known
You can make your goal known a couple ways. Write it down where people can see it (on the bulletin board, in an email, with sidewalk chalk) or tell someone. This way, you are held accountable for your goal.
Your co-worker or spouse will say, “Hey, I saw you were going to make 20 cold calls from your MO T-65 list by 1:00pm today. How is that going?” And you want to be able to say, “I’m actually already done!”
Now you’re fully prepared to go out and smash your goals. Whether it’s making some calls or cruising in a brand new car, these steps will help you get there. Just stick with it!