S.M.A.R.T. Goals | Travel Research Online


S.M.A.R.T. Goals


In 2009, the comedian Eddie Izzard set the almost unbelievable goal of running all the way around the circumference of England and Scotland, the equivalent of 43 marathons in 50 days,  for charity and again in 2016 for 27 days in honor of Nelson Mandela.

He had never run a marathon before that time. I think it may be possible to learn something from Mr. Izzard.

Goal setting is a path to enhancing every aspect of your travel agency’s business plan. Map of the U.K.When applied to your sales efforts, goal setting assists you with focusing on the most important elements of the sales process and programs the unconscious mind to maintain the right attitude toward your work. Sales professionals years ago developed the “S.M.A.R.T.” acronym as a mnemonic device to help remember how to properly go about properly setting goals:

  • Specificity
  • Measurability
  • Attainability
  • Reward (Realistic)
  • Timeframe

Let’s review each of these in turn with reference to Eddie’s amazing feat (feet?) as a guide.

Specificity means that you know what you want to achieve and how you are going to do it. Goals should be objectified – you have to put a real number to them. Setting a goal such as “increase the number of clients I work with this year” is a great goal. However, when you indicate that you are going to have “working with 350 new cruise passengers this year,” then your goal has much more substance. When you then begin to work through the strategies and tactics you will use to actually successfully work through the full buying cycle with 350 new passengers, then you have a much more specific, and therefore achievable, goal. Eddie Izzard knew exactly how many miles he faced when he took those first few steps out of Trafalgar Square, he knew how many days it was likely to take and he knew the path he would follow.

Measurable means that you can monitor your progress with a clear end result. Break your goal up into measurable increments and track your steps along the way. Make adjustments as you need to ensure that you are on the right path to hitting your targets. Eddie’s path had clear markers. He could measure his progress not only by the blisters on his feet but by each day’s milestones.

Attainable – your goal has to be realistic. It should be a stretch, no goal should be set too low. But make your goal something that with a lot of hard work and perseverance, you can attain. Eddie Izzard’s goal was almost unbelievable – to everyone but him.

Reward/Realistic – This is your motivation for the entire effort. Perhaps it is as simple as more income. If so, be specific. How much more income? Perhaps it is the satisfaction of knowing you can set a goal and keep it. Eddie Izzard’s reward? $300,000 was raised for charity and the satisfaction of knowing he could do it. Some explanations of the SMART system use “Realistic” to indicate the goal has to be one that can be achieved, but to my mind that is covered by Attainable!

Timeframe – When are you going to be the world’s greatest travel consultant? Someday? Be specific. Use a calendar to make your goals real. Eddie knew how long it should take him to complete his runs, and he did it. You can accomplish your goals the same way.

Nothing is impossible. Nothing.

By the way, there is a series of video diaries documenting Eddie’s run around the British Isles. It will be 1/2 hour well spent watching them.

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