Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Is there value in setting goals?

Jason Murphy,
Director of Family Services,
Sunset Memorial Park
With the new year quickly approaching, it is a great time to start setting goals for 2016. As a manager, setting goals for your sales team is one of the most important things you can do, but many don’t understand the best way to utilize them. In my experience, I have found that meeting with each counselor individually to develop their goals has been most beneficial. A few things we focus on during our annual meetings include:
  1. Setting attainable, motivating goals. This may be the most important aspect to creating successful to goals. We begin by comparing the numbers from the past couple of years. These numbers will help us identify sales trends which in turn help us figure out our annual, quarterly and weekly goals for the next year. We typically set the goal a little higher than the year before but don’t make it too far out of reach. We don’t want our sales staff to feel discouraged. 
  2. Developing an action plan together. What has worked best for you and your team in the past? What are the areas that need the most improvement and possibly more training? How many group presentations, expos and other events will we need to attend in order to reach our new goals? These are the types of questions to ask when developing a functional plan of action. Without a solid plan, your goals are just numbers. Having a plan allows you to keep better track of your sales team’s activity, but it also gives them some structure or focus heading into the new year. 
  3. Setting goals outside the office. I believe if you encourage your sales team to set goals outside the office, in other aspects of their life, it will motivate them more. Improving on their personal habits may in turn improve on other negative habits. Goal setting should go beyond the workplace. I feel that if we all took some time to look at what we can improve in our own lives, we will develop into a better individual and a better employee.

This article originally appeared in Modern Memorialization, Trigard Memorials' weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/thursdays.

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