For those of you who are business owners, supervisors or managers, it is likely that those who report to you are required to set goals for the new year. If you don’t require them to provide their goals, or work with them to develop their goals, it can be difficult to manage your staff. How will they know what you expect? How will they know if they are succeeding or need to make adjustments?
For those of you who report to business owners, supervisors or managers, you may groan loudly when asked to either provide your goals for the year, or sit with those you report to and develop your goals together. Why? These goals can indicate, to those to whom you report, your value to the organization.
We all seem to dread the goal setting part of business and I wonder why. Goals are important and, if realistically set, can be very motivating. Setting goals is similar to planning out a vacation. You would want to know your vacation budget, mode of transportation, have maps, translation guides (for foreign travel), hotel reservations and proper wardrobe. Most of us don’t set off on a vacation without a plan. Goals are simply a plan.
Since I work primarily with our sales team, I’m going to focus on the sales process. If you are a sales representative you should consider the following when setting goals:
- How much do you expect to sell this year? Is it an increase over last year? If not, why not? Planning to stay the same or do less is a backward movement and decreases your value.
- Are there new products and services, that the company offers, that you need to know more about? What is your plan to attain that information?
- Do you attend networking events? If so, are they the same ones your customers and prospects attend? If not, don’t waste your time.
- Is your wardrobe appropriate? Dressing at a level lower than those you seek to serve is a mistake. You are a professional and should look like one at all times. Stained shirts, wrinkled clothing and scuffed shoes are not a sign of a successful person. People want to deal with successful people.
- How are your communication skills? Can you confidently make a presentation? Are your letters and emails well-written and grammatically correct? Does your voice portray confidence when leaving a voice mail message? If not, can you improve those skills on your own, or do you need additional training?
- What do you know about your target audience? After all, it’s your responsibility to help your customers meet their goals. If you don’t understand their business then how can you help them?
- How can you help your company succeed? Are you a team player? Do you raise people up by how you treat them, or do you swagger through the office and make sure everyone knows that it’s your sales efforts that keep them in food? You need your co-workers as much as they need you – show appreciation for their support of your efforts.
- Are you a valuable conduit between your customer and your company? It’s your job to represent your customer at the office and the office to the customer. Don’t badmouth either!
January is a fresh slate. Take some time to develop goals, even if your organization doesn’t require you to develop them. They can help keep you on track, insure continuous improvement and focused on attaining success!