We all make resolutions, but resolutions aren’t what get results. Goals are. Make goals, Not Resolutions.
I love January. A fresh start. New possibilities. The opportunity to hit Restart on the computer of life.
And yes, of course, the rash of New Year’s resolutions.
“I will lose 20 pounds.”
” I will run a 5K.”
“I will increase my income by $20,000.”
“I will compete on The Voice and become a rock superstar.” (oh wait- that one is all mine 😉
Resolutions are great, but do you know what each of these statements is missing? An action plan to achieve the desired results.
Make goals, not resolutions.
The difference between Resolutions and Goals (and why it matters to you)
Resolutions are wishes and dreams. Goals are achievements we set for ourself with a plan to reach them.
Anyone can say “I will lose 50 pounds this year.” But it’s one thing to say and quite another to do. And it’s the doing where so many of us fall down (me included).
As my favorite consultant likes to say “Hope isn’t a strategy.”
Make goals, not resolutions- How I got rid of resolutions and adopted the goal setting strategy in my insurance agency
So for the first time ever in my insurance career (I know, right?), I decided to get serious and start running my insurance agency like the business it is.
I met with our consultant and we discussed the goals I wanted my agency to hit, growth percentage and premium volume being the biggest goals. This part was somewhat easy because every insurance company has numbers in mind and doesn’t hesitate to communicate them.
Biggest difference from all other years? We wrote them down on paper. Better late than never, I always say.
There’s an overall agency premium goal to meet, premium retention to maintain or improve, and individual goals for each salesperson. Because it takes all of us reaching our individual goals to reach the agency goal. It’s all about teamwork.
Besides setting agency and individual goals, we wrote down specific action plans for how we were going to reach those goals
We even took it one step further and specifically outlined how each team member was going to reach their individual goal of X policies per month. Here’s an example of what I mean based on the goals for one of my producers:
- Hand out referral program postcards (with business card stapled to it) to every new prospect you meet with.
- Hand out referral program postcards to current customers you work with.
- Quote all lines of business we offer (such as auto, home, umbrella and life) and present to the prospect.
- Attend 2 networking events per month.
- Have breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee with a center of influence twice a month.
- Solicit lost business- there’s a process in place for this, including reports, talking points and follow up letters/emails.
Please note that some of these action items are the MINIMUM required. If he wants to have lunch with a center of influence every week and attend 4 networking events a month, that’s great. Like so many other things in life, you get out of it what you give.
He helped create these goals with my assistance. I long since discovered the more input an employee has in his or her success plan, the more likely they will be to achieve the desired results.
And for you agency owners out there who still produce (like me), yes, I too have written goals in order for me to meet the premium goal we’ve established. Here’s my list:
- Hand out referral program postcards (with business card stapled to it) to every new prospect I meet with.
- Hand out referral program postcards to current customers I work with.
- Ask for all lines of business we offer (such as auto, home, umbrella and life) from every prospect and present those options.
- Carry postcards with me so I can hand them out at different events or opportunities.
- Attend 2 networking events per quarter.
- Have lunch or coffee with a center of influence once a week (I’ll note here that I made a commitment when my kids were born, that I would make every attempt to be home in the evening, so seldom any evening activities).
The BEST part about setting goals and creating an action plan to achieve them
- Sets clear expectations.
- Team members have a tangible way to contribute to overall success- they can see what part they play and how their contribution is valued.
- Clear benchmarks to discuss at sales meetings, especially if they aren’t being met. Better to start a plan for improvement at the beginning of the year than at the end.
- Team members have incentive to help each other reach individual goals so overall “agency team” goal is met.
So it’s up to you- do you want to stick with your resolutions OR set goals and ways to achieve them?
I don’t care what Disney says- when you wish upon a star, anything your heart desires will not magically come to you. It takes work and it takes commitment. Most important, it takes writing it down and setting up specific steps to achieve your desires.
Make goals, not resolutions. You’ll get results. Promise.