Take time to plan for success
By Merrit Strunk
You make a living by providing solutions to help consumers achieve their retirement goals. Many times, agents are guilty of the scenario in which the cobbler's kids have no shoes. Your practice is your livelihood, so why not invest the same amount of time in planning your own success as you do in your clients.
Some agents soar, some crash, others survive. What factors contribute to the success of an agent who soars? Could it be an unwavering focus on growth and small business marketing mentality?
Successful business leaders will tell you they know they will not achieve the success they desire tomorrow if they neglect their business marketing efforts today -- it just makes sense.
Your success plan
Here is a simple way to put your plan together in order to achieve the goals you set for your business. Complete the chart below as you read the rest of the article.
|2008 Year End Sales:||$|
|2009 Sales Goal||$|
Setting your goals
Step 1: What sales goal do you want to achieve by the end of 2009? Obviously, this is going to have a lot to do with the products you sell, so feel free to break your sales goals up into the categories where you make your sales, such as annuities, LTC or life. Don't be shy about your goal -- make it a big one.
Step 2: Take a look at your past annual sales or your projected year-end sales. To determine the increase in sales, subtract last year's sales from the goal you set for 2009. Now divide the amount of the increase by the past year's sales to find the percentage increase you want for your business year to year.
Step3: Now that you know how much you want to grow your business, divide the past year's sales by the number of cases you actually sold to determine your average sale amount. With this information, it's relatively easy to determine how many new average size cases you need to sell to achieve your goals.
Step 4: Take the sales goal you've established and break it down further into quarterly or six month goals. This will help you identify bite size chunks of the goal that will be easier as you measure your progress.
Step 5: Strengths and Weaknesses. Yup, I said it; the ole self examination of where your business excels and where your biggest weaknesses are. In this simple examination, you may stumble upon areas where you need to be better. Ask yourself tough questions like, "Am I doing enough marketing to grow the number of prospects I get in front of?" "Will it be enough for me to achieve my goal?" Face it; rarely does business just walk through the door. Prospecting and acquisition is very much a numbers game -- the more individuals you see, the more new clients you'll get, and the same is true with the inverse.
The action plan
The first five steps were easy, answering the questions how much and when. Now comes the tough part -- making those goals a reality.
Determining the action part of your plan:
To reach your goals, ask yourself what are the products, who are the people, what are the resources needed to make these goals a reality?
What steps do I need to take to obtain these resources?
These steps may be contacting the head of the local chamber of commerce or exploring a new lead program. Keep your plan manageable by limiting it to no more than five steps.
When do I need to complete these steps in order to stay on track?
Target a date for each of the steps you listed. Every so often, check to make sure you've taken action to hit these dates.
Lastly, what will you need to invest in your marketing plan to achieve your goals?
An action plan can look as simple as making a list of action steps with a target date for each one.
Contact me using the forum below to find out how to download our simplified agent planning spreadsheet. This template makes it easy to fill in your actions, marketing investment, set budgets, track your progress and determine your Return on Investment.
After setting your goals, assessing necessary resources and writing down action steps to generate the sales that are going to get you to your goals, you will already be ahead of competition that's never put pen to paper to develop a simple plan for success. Spend the time planning to ensure that 2009 is the year you blow it out.
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