In discussing the development of a marketing plan, this column has given a great deal of time to the concept of setting goals and objectives. Likewise, each travel consultant should set goals for their business and personal life as well. By setting goals, the travel professional can better focus on the necessary actions to take to achieve success in their travel practice. There are a few tips that will assist you in setting and realizing your goals, and the balance of this week will speak to establishing an intelligent and achievable set of goals for yourself.
Certainly the very act of setting a goal has merit. What really puts a goal into high gear, however, is writing it down. A travel professional who can objectify and articulate their goals is more likely to achieve them. Yet, the truth is that very few of us work from a written marketing plan or set of goals. More often, we “wing it”! What might we achieve if we were more disciplined in our approach? It is one measure of how much potential the travel industry has that so many can earn a living without the need to follow so basic a rule. If you will take the time to write down your goals, it is almost a guarantee that you will achieve more. Writing your goals down gives them substance, orienting, clarifying and programming your mind in relationship to everything around you.
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Each year, suppliers send to their top travel agencies goals to achieve in order to earn overrides and bonus commissions. If you have ever received a written goal from a supplier, you know its impact – you gear up for achieving the goal and you begin to plan and calendar your benchmarks.
Your goals will have more meaning if you objectify them: attach actual numbers and a time frame. The more clearly and precisely you establish a goal, the more accurately you can work toward its achievement. Your goals should be achievable, but they should be on the absolute edge of your capacities. Stretch yourself. You can fall short of a high goal and still be far ahead of the pack.
The most important aspect of a goal is the element of intentionality. Goals provide focus. Once you establish a goal, especially if you place it in writing, you are truly accountable to yourself. Goals help you hone in on the precise steps you must take to achieve them. Rather than haphazardly “meeting our numbers”, intentionality is a laser-like focus on an end result that both motivates us and helps to organize our methodology.
Then, there is the matter of balance. There is no reason that goal setting should be relegated only to your professional life. There is a need to achieve balance for the whole person. It is possible to set goals for your personal life, your family, your health and every aspect of your well-being.
Why wait for a supplier to motivate you? Start by jotting down a few loosely defined goals for yourself and together, we will help clarify them and make them really achievable.