The first step on your road to success is to outline and define where you want to go and the kind of sales and marketing professional you want to become, says Vistage Associate and speaker Thomas Wood-Young.
A Road Map: Your Personal Mission Statement
The mission statement should be a brief statement (about four sentences) describing the person you are or the one you want to be, says Wood-Young. “This is the rudder on the ship that will determine your direction. Everything you do in your sales or marketing role should be in line with your mission statement. Living your mission statement is the true meaning of success.”
A mission statement should include the following:
- Solid connection with the inner self and our purpose in life
- Expression of our own unique gifts and talents
- Integration of the four areas of life: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual
- Connection to concrete goals and realistic expectations
“It is important to write down your mission statement and keep it nearby as you go about your work. This makes your mission more real and tangible,” explains Wood-Young. As you compose your mission statement, review your values, talents, principles and skills. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my life purpose?
- What is really important to me?
- Does this fit with my values?
Many people have heard of mission statements, but few grasp the importance and overall concept. A mission statement is the definition of the service and benefit you provide to others. It is the definition of the value you bring to employees, co-workers, your company, customers and prospects, explains Wood-Young. “Your compensation and rewards will be in direct proportion to the value you bring to others. Your mission statement is not what you want to be or how great you are. Take the time to write down your mission and think about how you bring value to others.”
Road Signs: Goals and Objectives
The development of objectives and goals follow the actual writing of a mission statement. Goals and objectives help you create a plan to live your mission statement, Wood-Young says. This should include:
- Career goals
- Financial objectives
- Sales goals
- Account development
- Conversion rates
- All other key aspects of your sales and marketing process
When setting goals, ask yourself the following:
- What goal am I trying to achieve?
- What do I see as the actual end-result?
- Why am I trying to achieve this goal?
- How does it connect to my mission statement?
- How will I achieve this goal?
- How will I measure the results?
Tips on Setting Goals
“Goals usually mean change. Some people resist change because of fear,” says Wood-Young. “However, as you realize that change toward your true mission is a change for the better, you can overcome fears.” Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Get input from others, yet stay true to your own values and mission.
- Take time to reflect on the goals.
- Set realistic goals.
- Make sure that future growth or expansion is built into the goals.
- Ensure that goal achievement can be measured, monitored and changed as needed.
- Remember to factor unexpected events into the goals.
- Decide how you will modify your goals.
- Ask yourself if your goals are too limiting. Think big!
The step that brings your mission statement and goals to reality is an action plan. “A mission statement without an action plan is a fantasy. The action plan makes the thought concrete and determines the steps to take to reach those goals,” explains Wood-Young. “The way you live your life defines who you are. In your action plan, focus on the practical implications needed to reach your goals and achieve your mission.”
Check Your Progress
Buy a calendar or day-timer to track the daily, weekly and monthly activities of your action plan, advises Wood-Young. Begin each day by reviewing your schedule or plan for the day. Evaluate whether or not the week was true to your mission statement and on track to reach your goals, he continues. Ask yourself these questions:
- Did I spend all week putting out fires?
- Am I making things move in the right direction?
- Did I strengthen my relationships with customers, accounts, employees and coworkers?
- Did my weekly activities make a difference in the quality of my professional life?
- Am I on target with my goals?
Arrive at Your Destination: Success
Your mission statement may change over time as you grow and develop. That is to be expected, says Wood-Young. “You can change behaviors to remain in step with your values, mission and goals. Practice and visualize the person you want to become and you will become that person. What you practice and do is who you are. Living your personal mission statement is the true meaning of success!”
Tom Wood-Young , MBA, is president of Wood-Young Consulting, a Colorado Springs, Colorado-based marketing consulting firm that helps companies increase revenues.