If I were to ask each of you whether you had goals for your travel practice, I’m willing to bet the answer would come back “Yes” almost universally. However, If I ask each of you to name three of your goals, many of you would have trouble immediately telling me what your goals were with specificity. The ability to articulate your plans in a concrete fashion is an important step in actually achieving your plans.
We all set goals to some degree. Actually, setting a goal is the easy part. Developing a plan that is reasonable and workable, however, can be a bit tougher. Too often, we begin a plan that is too ambitious at the outset and in failing to execute that plan, fail to achieve the goal. It is best to start with small, easily achievable steps. Thus, if you decide to get into shape, you are better starting with a plan that involves walking around the block every day rather than committing to a daily two mile run. Naturally, at some point you will want to commit to the two mile runs. But in the beginning, the more easily achieved plan will give you confidence that your goal is reasonable and within reach.
As an example, perhaps one of your goals is to increase the number of clients with which you work. If so, here are a few steps you can take that are not too ambitious, but which will provide you with a plan you can easily follow. Track your results over the course of the next month and keep a calendar to make sure that you are achieving your commitments. Each day, record your progress.
- Step 1 – Write a short note to ten people that you know who do not currently use your travel consulting services. Ask for the opportunity for their business. Here is a sample letter you might use.
- Step 2 – Each and every weekday this month, talk to one person about travel that you have never spoken to about travel previously. It could be your hairdresser or your plumber…it doesn’t matter, just talk to them. Don’t try to sell them anything, including your services. Just talk about travel. Perhaps tell them about a trip you are planning for someone or about an interesting travel news item. When you get home, record the conversation and then put that person on your list to contact next month with the letter in Step 1.
- Step 3 – Write each of your existing travel clients and ask for a referral. Enclose two of your business cards. Here is a sample letter you might use.
Each of these steps requires very little effort, and almost no expense. Consistently applied, however, they are almost certain to help you achieve your goal of growing your client base. Writing down your goals and recording your progress is of optimal importance. When you write down your goals, when your record your progress, you make the effort real. Writing down goals helps you to better articulate your plan. Putting your goals into a written format makes it far more likely that you will achieve your plans.