Do you get excited, set unattainable goals and then get disappointed and lose your steam? Maybe your sales goals are ambitious but vague, so you don’t ever get the thrill of meeting them. Turns out the way you set your goals may be the biggest predictor of whether you reach them.
Read on to learn how to set attainable goals. Couple these tips with your drive and determination and you’ll crush your 2019 sales goals.
Set SMART goals
Sounds funny, but the first step in meeting your goals is setting the right goals the right way. SMART is an acronym for a method of setting measurable and attainable goals. Setting SMART goals puts you on the path to success. Here is how the acronym works:
- Specific: Your sales goal must be specific. It’s not enough to say you’re going to exceed your goals from last year. Make the goal specific, definable and actionable. An excellent example of a specific goal is I will increase my cross sales by 10 per month.
- Measurable: Be sure to make your goal measurable. It should include a number projection, so you have something to aim for. Sales agents who meet with clients face to face have a better shot at closing the deal. So, a good measurable goal may be to have 25 face to face client meetings this month
- Attainable: Many of us set goals that are out of reach. We feel ambitious during our goal-setting session, but we lose momentum as we realize we won’t even come close. Make your goals attainable – with a stretch.
- Relevant: Make your sales goals relevant. Consider your sales environment. Maybe you have a great new Umbrella product. Build your sales goals around that. Maybe you just ran your report for clients with only a single policy with your agency – that’s a perfect opportunity to build a goal around cross sales.
- Timely: You must give yourself a deadline. If you don’t put a time constraint on your goals, they’ll be open-ended and easy to slide to the back burner. Monthly or 30 day goals work well for many.
Install some accountability
Along with SMART goals, you need some accountability. If you’re a sales rep in an agency, your accountability system may come from your boss or your teammates. If you don’t have built-in accountability try an accountability partner. Agree to meet or talk once a week to discuss your goals and whether you’re sticking to them.
If you are going it alone, here are a few tips to grow self-accountability:
- Take responsibility: Take ownership of your goals and become responsible for meeting them. Commit to not making excuses. Self-accountability comes from responsibility. Always take ownership of your performance.
- Keep your goals front and center: If you set SMART goals, you have clear and actionable goals and steps. Keep them top of mind by reviewing them at least once a day.
- Check-in and measure your results: Measure and track your results. If you don’t know where you are headed and where you came from, you may never get to where you want to go. Measuring and tracking your results also alerts you to change direction or strategy.
Set a kedge
A kedge is an anchor. Setting a kedge is a sailing term, but it applies to sales goals as well. Your kedge is the thing you are anchoring your goals to. Most commonly, it’s a reward. It’s your “why”. When you start to lose focus, you look to your kedge to find your way back. It keeps you attached to your goals.
It can be just about anything. Money works for some, but it can be abstract. A concrete kedge may work better. Maybe you would like a vacation in the Caribbean or a new kayak. It could also be as simple as seeing your name at the top of the sales roster.
Ask for the referral every time
Asking for the referral is the most underutilized sales strategy agents have at their fingertips. Ask for the referral every time. In fact, make it part of your file checklist. Make it easy by creating a template you shoot over to your client after you close the sale.
Be flexible and adaptive
Sales goals – even SMART goals aren’t written in stone, so be flexible. Change them as needed – but don’t abandon them. This is where a measuring and tracking system can be useful. If you find you aren’t on track to meeting your goals, it’s time to make some changes. You may wish to adopt a different closing strategy or increase the number of cold calls you make.
Remember, just because a particular strategy worked in the past doesn’t mean it always works. Track your progress and adopt new strategies when necessary.
Under promise and over deliver
To be a successful insurance agent, you must knock your customer’s socks off. Let’s face it; insurance is a difficult product. Most consumers know they need it, but don’t really want to have to buy it. It can be a tough sell. Agents must go above and beyond. The best way to do so is to underpromise and overdeliver.
Don’t promise or even allude to something that you can’t deliver. The last thing you want is a disappointed client. Under promise and then watch your customer gush when you provide something they thought you couldn’t.
Continue your education
A good and ongoing education is an insurance agents’ secret weapon to successful sales goals. Knowing your markets, community, products and underwriting guidelines is going to put you ahead of the pack. The more you know, the more confidence you have when working with a client on a sale. So, pay attention to your continuing education, read professional journals and keep the pulse of the community close.
Stay committed and crush your 2019 sales goals
Setting and meeting your sales goals is a long term commitment. Remember to adapt your goals if necessary. Setting proper goals takes practice. Make your goals specific and measurable. Then, pull out all the stops. Use referrals, be the expert, stay accountable, and success will be yours.
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