Wow, the end of year is already upon us,
and if you’re like me, you are well on your way for 2018 planning. Each and
every year of my career I take time from mid-November through mid-December to
reflect on the year wrapping up, and to give serious consideration about how I
might want the year ahead to go. Planning and goal setting has always been
important to me. And, setting a few personal goals into the mix of my business
goals has been a mainstay. More importantly, I don’t keep these personal goals
to myself, I share them with my team.
As sales people we all tend to set
similar goals: revenue generation, profit margin increases, new client
development, market expansion, and the like. Oftentimes, sales people relate
personal goals, when asked, to these business goals. For example, a personal
goal is to exceed my quota by 11.5%. To me this is not a personal goal. This is
still a business goal.
Personal goals have a direct and
immediate impact on your personal life. Personal goals impact your significant
other, your family, your home, etc. and they can relate to your business goals,
yet they are still separate. When viewed as a combination, the business goals
become the means to achieving your personal goals, so why not share.
For many years I have encouraged my team
members to outline not only their business goals for the new, upcoming year
ahead, but also share at least a few of their personal goals. And, when I say
share, I do mean share. Share some amount of detail as to why these are
personal goals, what impact these personal goals will have on your life, why is
that personal goal important to you, what will that personal goal mean to your
family, and how can your fellow team members support you with this knowledge
they now possess about your personal goals. Allow me to use a personal goal for
2018 as an example.
I was fortunate this past Tuesday to
make and confirm a reservation for a family ski trip during Christmas of 2018.
That’s right, one year from now, yet the reservation had to be made on Tuesday. In fact,
the resort was sold out in less than 10 minutes for this specific week, and I
was lucky enough to get a place. Planning ahead for a family trip over one year
away is a key to my goal setting for all of 2018. Here’s why – my wife and I
have a preview of school calendars for the next 3 years. My son will be a high
school junior next year and then planning for college. Outside of Christmas
vacation next year, my three children do not appear to have corresponding
schedules for the foreseeable future, and so we decided this would be the time
to take this ski trip.
Obtaining the lucky reservation for
Christmas 2018 was only the first step in making the trip a reality. In order
to make the trip happen, I need to hit my business goals. My business goals are
to increase sales for the company as a whole, as well as increase my own book
of business. I need to expand the sales team with new personnel, those ‘A’
level sales people I frequently talk and write about. I need to engage my own
client base to increase their use of my firm. And, aside from my primary
company, another business goal is to expand my freelance consulting.
I will not be purchasing plane tickets
until late next summer or early fall. I will know then if I am on track to hit
my business goals. If I am on track then the trip is a go. If I am not, well, the
trip may not happen. However, I’m forging ahead into the new year with this
trip as my primary personal goal. I want, no I need, my team to know about this
goal. I need them to hear the sincerity in my voice as I explain what this trip
will mean to my family before the kids get older and start college. I will need
their help. I will need their help selling, meeting my clients expectations,
and help keeping the business goals overall on track.
I encourage sales managers to take this
approach and encourage your sales team members to set and share personal goals.
Listen intently on what those goals are and why. Ask yourself what you can do
to help your team achieve those personal goals. You do have something to gain,
hitting your business goals, because most people will achieve their personal
goals only by hitting their business goals. Happy 2018 Planning!