Three goals your business should be working towards in 2017.

How is 2017 starting off for you? I hope prosperous and encouraging!

January is a great time to set goals for the year. If you haven’t already, take time this week to set specific goals for your business/career, financial goals, personal goals, family goals and spiritual goals. People who set specific, written goals are 42% more likely to achieve them than those without!

When it comes to goals for your business, you’ve most likely set sales goals or financial goals. That’s an excellent place to start, but the next step is “how are you going to reach those goals this year?” You could:

  • Look for new marketing strategies
  • Start cold-calling
  • Put a lot of money into advertising

These tactics can certainly be effective in many cases and may work for you. However, there’s often hundreds of opportunities to grow our businesses, right in front of us, that we overlook on a daily basis.

I want to share three goals that you can work on this year in your business that will help you identify and capitalize on those opportunities!

#1. Increasing repeat business.

If you own an auto body shop or mortuary, selling the idea of repeat business to your clients may not be as appealing. For the rest of us, we need to keep in mind that selling products or services to existing customers is much easier than trying to gain new customers. How can you increase your repeat business in 2017?

  • Follow up with customers you haven’t heard from in a while, and ask them how they are getting along with their products or services. For example:
    • “Hi, Mr. Smith! This is Andrew from XYZ  Company and I haven’t seen you for quite some time. I wanted to call and make sure you were getting along OK with your [insert your product/service]?”

When you follow up with past clients, here’s what can happen:

  1. During the conversation, the opportunity may arise to present the customer with a new product or service that they need or want.
  2. Customers often put things on the back burner that aren’t urgent. When you call them, it reminds them of what they need, and you’re likely to get the sale. This is especially true for service based businesses.
  3. When customers know you care enough to check-in, you stay in the forefront of their mind for when they do need your product or service.

#2. Establishing your business as the “go-to experts”.

People don’t buy products and services; they buy assurance, trust, convenience, experiences and personalities. If you can offer these qualities along with your products and services, you’ll establish your business as the “go-to experts” in your industry.

Let me give you an example.

When I operated my technology company, people I knew would come up to me on a daily basis and start talking about a computer issue.

  • I’d listen closely. They felt a connection with me because I showed that I cared.
  • I would assure them that I could take care of the issue. I didn’t know the answer to every single computer problem, but I was willing to work at it until I found a solution.
  • I would schedule a time to come to their business or home that was convenient for them.
  • I would create a positive experience. While I was working on their issues, I would explain what I was doing, as well as engage in friendly discussion.
  • I earned their trust. Once the issue was fixed or another solution had been recommended, I would let them know to call me at the first sign of problems.

Before long, I became known as the “go-to expert” in my industry. It wasn’t because I had more knowledge than my competitors; it was because of the qualities I was delivering with my products and services. As a result, I was able to charge higher prices, close a high percentage of deals and received countless referrals.

#3. Delivering something new.

Instead of spending all of your time and money trying to find new clients, find ways to serve your current clients or past clients better. What does that look like? Take 30 minutes this week to reflect and brainstorm on these questions:

  • What new product or service could I provide to my existing customers that would help solve a common problem?
  • How can I reorganize or repackage my current products and services to better fit customers’ needs?
  • How can I better explain the value and benefits of the products and services that I offer to potential customers?

If you make it a point to work on these three goals in your business in 2017, you’ll be amazed at the number of opportunities that present themselves to you!

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How to use touch point meetings to get ahead

To kick off the year, there’s little doubt if you work for a company, you know what your goals are; your sales goals, your personal goals and your company’s goals. If you don’t know what your goals are, or haven’t set goals, I would highly recommend doing so ASAP!

Once you have your goals, the question becomes “how am I going to achieve my goals and the company’s goals this year?” This is where touch point meetings become advantageous. What is a touch point meeting? To put it simply, a touch point meeting is a brief, one-on-one visit with another co-worker; typically between a manager and a direct report.

How can touch point meetings be an effective tool to help you get ahead, not only in achieving your 2017 goals, but also advancing your personal career? I reached out to Dan Schwartz, Founder of the Ground Floor Leadership Institute, to discover how to effectively use touch point meetings to get ahead.

Dan, what is the value of touch point meetings for individuals who have a strong desire to be successful?

“Every employee has goals they want to achieve in their career and it is the manager’s role to be the facilitator of their direct report’s success. Having touch-point meetings on a regular basis (monthly or bi-weekly) with a subordinate allows them to have dedicated time with their manager to discuss an action plan to achieve both short-term and long-term goals, monitor progress towards those goals, and make any necessary adjustments along the way.”

As Dan pointed out, it requires effort on both managers and direct reports to succeed. Without frequent interaction, how can you expect to stay on target and ensure that everyone’s interests and strategies are aligned? Use touch point meetings as often as possible to stay on track and gain valuable insights on how to better succeed.

Dan, how can highly motivated individuals prepare for touch point meetings with upper management, to make them most effective?

“Subordinates should walk into a touch-point meeting prepared to discuss the following:

• Challenges they are having with projects and assignments
• Progress on assigned tasks and deliverables
• Strategies on how their manager can make them more successful

A great way to capture the above information and prepare it for the meeting is in a status report with a list of assignments, due dates, and an update for each one on challenges and progress.”

The word that comes to mind for me is initiative. Having a clear understanding of what needs accomplished and when it needs accomplished by is crucial for success. Instead of waiting for someone to tell you what to do, get ahead by using the time during touch point meetings to discuss strategies and how to overcome challenges.

Dan, what is one thing that should be resolved/decided upon at every touch point meeting?

“At the end of a touch point meeting, there should be a clear agreement upon what action items are to be completed both for the manager and the direct report between now and the next touch-point meeting. This could include:

• Tasks to be completed
• Meetings/Conversations to be conducted
• Research to be done
• Training to be attended

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but are examples of things that may need to be done. Bottom Line: At the end of every touch-point meeting, a clear plan should be in place for how to move forward.”

One of the biggest reasons people fail to reach their goals or get ahead in their career is they don’t have definite plans of action to follow. Make sure at your next touch point meeting that not only do you have a plan, but upper management is aligned with your plan and willing to assist in your success.

If you want to learn more about touch point meetings or how to become a Ground Floor Leader in your company or industry, visit Dan’s website, sign up for his newsletter or follow Dan on social media.

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Set your goals for 2017 to make it the best year yet!

All good business owners and salespeople know how important goal setting is. Without goals, we’re aimless wanderers. But, when we focus on a clear mission, we choose to take control of our future results. As you can imagine (and maybe have already started), December is a good time to set goals for next year.  So, how can you set goals for 2017 to make it your best year yet? Here’s a few helpful goal-setting suggestions to keep in mind!

Make Your 2017 Goals Specific.

It’s hard to develop plans for ambiguous goals. Don’t say, “I want to get in shape and earn more money.” Instead, write down exactly how many times you intend to work out each week and the exact amount of money you intend to earn. Well-defined goals will help you make better action plans for achievement.

Set Your Goals Higher than Last Year.

If we’re not moving forward and consistently improving, we’re likely to slide backwards. When you’re determining your 2017 goals, make them at least 10% “higher” than this year’s goals. For example, if your goal this year was to sell 10,000 units, make next year’s goal to sell 11,000 units. Lofty goals will keep you motivated throughout the year.

Do Something New Next Year.

Don’t just set the same types of goals, year after year. For 2017, make a goal to learn a new skill, take on a new hobby or find some way to improve your overall knowledge and abilities. Maybe, it could be a goal of volunteering if you’ve never volunteered before? What’s an area you’re interested in that you’ve never explored?

Set Goals for Each Area of Your Life.

Business and professional goals are excellent and will help you stay focused throughout the year. But, you also need to have goals for other areas of your life to stay balanced. Here’s a few areas to consider developing 2017 goals for:

  • Financial
  • Personal
  • Family
  • Faith

Write Your Goals Down on Paper.

You’re 10 times more likely to achieve a goal if you simply write it down on paper and review it on a regular basis. I would suggest reviewing your goals every morning before you start working and each night before going to bed. This will help your mind stay focused on its mission.

To help you get started with your 2017 goals, I’ve provided my goal setting worksheet for you to print out and fill out! Keep it with you each day and you’ll be well on your way to a successful 2017!

If you decide that you would like some help setting or achieving your 2017 goals, I offer one-on-one coaching for sales professionals, business owners, CEOs and solopreneurs! Drop me a note and let’s set up a time to chat!

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Three Ways to Increase Your Chances of Achieving Your Goals

Writing a book, taking a vacation, starting a new hobby, growing a business; we all have things in life that we want to do or achieve. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t have aspirations of some kind. But, many people live on the idea of  “someday I’m going to…” This allows us to daydream of the beautiful image of that “someday,” without having to do anything about it. Don’t get me wrong, dreaming about the future can be satisfying; for a while. Eventually, though, frustration and impatience set in, and that’s where most people leave behind their goals and create new ones to daydream about.

There are many people who do achieve their goals, though! When they set out to do something, they simply make it happen. In fact, most of the time they make it look easy! While achieving significant goals is almost never easy, there are certain strategies that goal achievers use, that goal dreamers don’t. I want to explore three techniques that differentiate these two types of individuals.

Make Goals Specific

If I were to ask you today, “how much money would it take for you to be secure, or better yet even happy?” Would you be able to tell me a specific amount?  Most people would throw out a random number if asked this question. A common answer would be “a million dollars!”

The point to take away is that many people who set out to achieve goals never define exactly what it is they want. Have you ever tried to play golf, without being able to see the fairway or the green? You may have a general idea of the direction to hit towards, but it makes it hard to hit your target.

The same is true for setting goals. If you have a generalized goal, you won’t be able to define a specific process for reaching it. If your goal is “grow your client base,” how many clients does that mean? And over what period of time? If you determine that gaining 20 new clients in the next three months is what it will take to achieve the level of business you are looking for, then you have a set target to aim for. You’ll have a much easier time developing strategies to succeed at this goal than trying to plan for a fictional amount.

Set Timelines

Just as with making your goals specific, you must also set timelines for achieving your goals. If I have a goal of three specific songs I’d like to learn to play on my guitar but don’t have any idea of when I’m going to learn them by, how long do you think it will take me to learn those songs? If you answered, “a long time,” you are close!

We can set our goals as specific as we want, but our minds need timeframes. We don’t operate very well without timeframes. Given a set timeframe, we generally find ways to complete tasks with the allotted time. Without a set timeframe, we procrastinate, because our minds tell us we have plenty of time to do that. Setting specific timelines and dates for each step in the achievement of your goals is vital to making progress.

Review Your Goals Frequently

The third way to become a goal achiever instead of a goal dreamer is to review your goals often. Preferably, twice a day. Once when you first get up in the morning; this gets you motivated for working on your goals throughout the day. The other time is before you go to sleep at night; this allows your brain to meditate on your goals while you sleep (don’t laugh, I’ve solved many problems using this method!)

Each time you review your goals, you are reminded of the value of those goals. You’ll be more apt to staying the course, and your mind will be able to focus more easily on ways to achieve those goals faster.

If you’re interested in learning more about the art of setting and achieving goals, I’d love to visit with you over coffee virtually (I’ll buy the coffee!) Send me an email at [email protected], and we’ll connect!

 

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5 Ways to Stay Focused on Your Goals - Andrew Heim | Professional Development Coach

The most successful people I have met all have one thing in common: they have goals. They know what they want, and they are willing to work hard until they have achieved their goals.

For most of us, we know what we want as well, but we seem to have trouble actually getting there. So what’s the difference between people who reach their goals and people who come up short? Staying focused. It’s easy to be excited about a goal when you start out. You’re dreaming about what it will mean to you once you’ve reached that goal, and it motivates you to take action. But there will come a time throughout the process that you become tired or frustrated about not making the progress towards your goal that you had hoped, and it’s easy to give up. So how can you stay focused on your goal until you have reached it, even when things get tough and tedious?

#1 Write your goals down on paper.

It’s easy to give up on your goals if you can’t remember what they are. Goals in your mind and not on paper are sure to get lost with the million other things you’re trying to remember. If you have a goal that you’re serious about achieving, write it down in a journal or somewhere permanent that won’t get thrown away. Sticky notes are a bad idea! The simple act of writing your goals on paper has been shown to increase your chances of achieving them by more than double.

#2 Review your goals twice a day.

Speaking of forgetting about your goals, you can forget about them too if you write them down and shove the journal in your desk drawer. If you’re serious about achieving a goal, you must focus on it every day. The best way to do so is by reviewing your goals at least twice a day; first thing in the morning and again before going to sleep at night. I like to keep my goals on top of my desk, which makes it convenient to review them before I start my day and before quitting at the end of the day.

When you review your goals every day, your subconscious will work on ways to help you achieve your goals, even when you’re not consciously thinking about those goals. You’ll begin to have ideas pop into your head that you otherwise would have missed out on had you not been reviewing your goals each day.

#3 Set deadlines.

How much can you squeeze into one day if you know that you MUST get something done? I’m guessing a lot! That’s the effect that deadlines have on us. We tend to stretch out or condense our tasks depending on how much time we have to get them finished. It works the same with your goals. If you set deadlines for each step, you will not only be much more likely to achieve your goals, but will do so in a shorter time frame. Setting deadlines will keep yourself accountable for sticking with your goals.

#4 Find people who want to help you.

Chances are, you’re not going to achieve your goals without a little help. You’re going to need knowledge, resources and support from others to help you along the way. There will be people out there that want to help you achieve your goals, you just have to find them. Most often, these are mutually beneficial relationships where you’re able to help each other. When you find others that want to help you, you’re not only gaining their support, but also another person to hold you accountable to stay focused on your goals.

#5 Do one thing each day to work towards your goals.

Inactivity or complacency is the biggest factor that holds people back from achieving their goals. You have to maintain motivation and focus to achieve any goal of value, and to do that you must be proactive. Set aside time each day (even on the weekends) to work towards your goals. This can be something as simple as brainstorming for ten minutes or making a phone call to someone who can help you move forward. As long as you’re constantly taking action, there is an extremely good chance that you will succeed.

Achieving your goals comes down to dedication, action and focus. If you can remained focused when activities become tedious or overwhelming, you will be well on your way to achieving those goals!

I’d love to hear about ways that you have maintained focus and achieved goals in the past! Please leave a comment below, or send me an email with your comments and stories!

 

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