I was asked today to do a blog post on setting and hitting goals. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I am reprinting this one from a couploe of years ago. I like it and hope that you do as well.
Set It - Hit It!
Setting a goal is the first step towards achieving it. To reach a yearly goal, start by breaking it down into manageable monthly goals, and then track your progress. Easy? Not for everyone. Some of the biggest mistakes take place somewhere in the goal setting/achieving process.
Here are some tips to remember, and pitfalls to avoid when setting goals.
Why a Goal:
A goal to a business, or person is like the rudder on a ship. Imagine a ship without one. People who know where they are going are more likely to get there. Goals tell people what they can do. Goals provide direction and motivation. There are two kinds of people and businesses; those who get what they want, and those who take what they get. Guess which one does the best. Getting what you want begins with identifying it.
How To Set The Goal:
Setting the right goal can be the right piece in your success plan. The two biggest mistakes people make are setting their goals too high, or too low. Too high demoralizes everyone early on, while too low pacifies everyone at the offset. The proper goal will cause your people to produce more than they would otherwise, and to be better than they might have otherwise been.
Many times, companies set goals by simply following a strict formula based purely on last year’s results, like “Last year plus 5%.” Easy; right? Wrong! The problem with this practice is that last year may have included some unexpected windfall or disaster that is not likely to repeat this year. You should “consider” last year’s sales, but also look for any and all extenuating circumstances that might be different this year, and take them into consideration as well.
Get a Grip on the Results
It would be an ideal world if all you had to do was to set the goal, and all of your employees would embrace it, and then attack it with a vengeance. All too often the goal is “handed off” to someone who sets it aside while sweeping the floor, and forgets to pick it up later, or something like that.
Nail it Down
Managers and owners determine the degree of importance that their employees place on achieving the goal. Your employees can tell how serious you are, by how you deliver the goal, and how often you check-up on the progress towards achieving it.
It’s a bit like getting your kid to complete some project that you have given to him or her. The child may wonder, “Does she really mean it, or is it like that other thing that she asked me to do, and then never mentioned again?” When you are serious about the goal, it will be very obvious. How? Because you are constantly talking about it.
Every day you are reminding your salespeople where your store’s sales are as a % to their goal, and whether they are on track to hit it or not. When the store is on track, you are all “high fives,” but the minute it falls behind, your eyebrows furrow, and you start looking for why. You have a reputation for not accepting excuses like, “It’s slow…” or “We are out of this or that.” You took everything into consideration when you set the goal. You cannot have your employees critiquing the goal that you set three weeks ago. You want your employees focused on how to hit today’s portion of that goal, before today gets away, that’s all!
One good way to maintain a sense of urgency to hit the goal is to pretend that today was the last day of the month, and then act accordingly. It’s easy. Just take your monthly goal minus the amount already sold this month, then divide that number by the number of days left in the month. That becomes your “Magic Number.” Start with that number at the beginning of the day, and then count it down to zero as you make sales.
Countdown with the attitude that; I’m not going home until I hit it. Do that today, and you will exceed your daily “Magic Number,” do that every day, and your monthly goal becomes a “So What?” You’ll be so far over your goal by the end of the month, that you will enjoy the finish, and go well over your goal. Sound idealistic? It is, but it also works, and It’s Easy!
Click Here to download a copy of our Success Dynamics Countdown Sheet. While in the site, you will find many other tools and suggestions on successful goal setting and achievement.
Everyone filters all requests through WIIFM. (What’s In It For Me?) Once business owners and managers realize that, they tend to think differently when structuring special incentives for a specific task to be completed, like hitting a goal. Incentives do not have to be monetary, although those seem to be ones that work the best.
Get More Than Expected
We find that when businesses offer some % of all sales over the goal to all of those who contribute to hitting the goal, that magic happens. We see a level of teamwork that before was just lip service. When people have a common goal, and work in harmony towards it, they hit it. It’s not Rocket Science. It Works!
Keep Score and Keep Smiling
How exciting would any sporting event be without the goal to attain, and a score sheet of some kind to keep an eye on it? You may wonder why we compare sports to selling. It’s because both can be very challenging, and when you are keeping score the challenge becomes fun rather than work.
Enjoy Success. It’s your right.