Have you heard of S.M.A.R.T goals? SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Think about the difference between saying “I will lose weight this year,” and “I will lose two pounds per month this year.” Which one sounds smarter?
The second one has all the components of a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It’s specific as to what you want to accomplish, it’s measurable as you can weigh yourself each month, it’s attainable it is a reasonable amount of weight to lose, it’s relevant to your health, and it gives you a reasonable time frame.
The original statement was too vague to measure and is unlikely to help you on your weight loss journey. Setting SMART goals for sales professionals can mean more sales, more revenue, and therefore, business growth. Let’s break it down further.
Your goal should be written in a clear and concise manner. It should be specific enough that it is obvious even to an outsider. Use “the five w’s” as your guide – what, why, who, where, and which.
If your goal isn’t measurable, how will you know for certain that you’ve made progress? Always find a way to answer the question, “how much?” or “how many?” It will keep you on track.
Sometimes called “achievable,” you want to make sure your goals are reachable. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t set your goal to lose ten pounds in a week. Start with two pounds, and work from there. In the sales world, don’t set your goal at 10 sales per week when you normally only close on two. Aim for four or five, instead.
At the same time, don’t set the bar too low. It’s fun to achieve, but your goal should still be a challenge. It’s far more rewarding to overcome a difficult obstacle. Your goals should be somewhere between super-easy and impossible.
Similar to “attainable,” you want to make sure that your goal is relevant to your needs. For example, don’t set a goal to close on 50 Medicare Advantage sales in April. You may want to set that goal in the fall, during AEP season, instead. You’ll be much more productive if your goals are actually logical for your current state.
When do you hope to complete your goal? Have a date in mind of when you’d like to achieve your goals. Additionally, set markers along the way so you can check your progress. For example, if you want to make 50 sales in a month, figure out how many you’ll have to sell per week. Then, at the end of each week, you can look at how far you’ve come in achieving your goal.
Of course all of this sounds great, but you may wonder what it looks like in the real world. How can you apply S.M.A.R.T. goals in your day-to-day working life? Let’s take a look at a real-world example. Steve is a licensed insurance agent who partners with a great FMO (field marketing organization). His FMO provides marketing and lead-generating services so he can focus on selling. Here’s how he plans on growing his business:
Steve’s S.M.A.R.T. goal for AEP is that he will close 35 Medicare Advantage sales from October 15 to December 7 using the leads from my FMO and social media marketing campaign. This will generate business growth and increase revenue.
Subscribe to our podcast and listen to Episode 5 (Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals) for more information about how to use SMART goals in your business strategy.
Your goals don’t have to be all about closed sales. Even trying to attend three appointments a day is a great goal, as is generating 500 leads a month. Look at what you’ve done in the past to figure out what numbers will make the most sense. You should always be trying to grow, so if you usually sell five products per week, aim for six per week next month and so on.
The goals you set should center around your “why.” Why are you setting appointments? Why are you even working as an insurance agent? When you know your why, it’ll be easier for you to think about what you want to be doing and how you can go about doing it.
It’s a good idea to look at your company’s goals (if you work with one) before setting your own. For example, if your FMO wants to sell 300 products in a month, you should think about how many you can sell to help them reach that company goal, then make that number your personal goal.
You can also specify your lead generation goals. For example, if you don’t have an online presence, set a goal like “publish three blogs by next month.”
Finding a way to organize your goals that works for you may be the first step to improving your success rate. Several apps are available that can change the way you track your goals. If you want to include personal life goals in your tracking, consider the website Life Tick.
Other apps we like are GoalsOnTrack, Strides, and ATracker, which allow for goal tracking and reminders.
You can confidently set S.M.A.R.T goals and achieve them with the right FMO on your side. At Senior Market Advisors, we give our agents the tools for success. We provide extensive training so you can make the most of your client meetings. When you partner with us, you receive lead generation, sales, and marketing help from an experienced team so you can focus on what you do best — make sales. Ready to start? Call 1-844-452-5020 or eContract with us today.
This post was originally published on October 2, 2017, by Anastasia Iliou, and was updated on October 24, 2019, by Troy Frink.