Defining Accountability

Webster’s Dictionary defines “accountability” as the “the quality or state of being accountable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions.”   We all strive to be accountable either to ourselves or someone else.  Accountability means preventing something from going wrong or not happening.   Its much easier to be accountable to someone else, our customers are a great example.  When we make a commitment we have to fulfill that promise because first and foremost accountability is about being reliable.   Ask yourself, “Can people count on me to do what I say I’ll do, as I said I would do it?”   For your customers this is a fundamental building block for trust and creating a relationship.

Accountability is about high performance and not operating out of fear or stress.  It’s about the willingness to hold yourself to a standard that improves your performance, your organizations performance and a willingness to be held accountable by others.   Reflect on your business and personal commitments, how are you tracking towards completion, if you need help reach out to a collegue that can help get you there.  Be specific about what areas you struggle with and get assistance.  Determine what is keeping you from delivering on the comitments and promises and work towards building the acountability for you and your customers.

One Pager – A Conversation Starter

Having a one page brochure or post card that you can use as a conversation starter with your clients, will allow them to see what you offer.   Having this information with you and available to prospects creates instant conversation around some of the prospects challenges.   Instead of prospects or clients having to dig through your website to find out what you do, you can simplify the process and discussion with a one pager.    Critical components of a one pager include your logo, tag-line and contact information.   Also include in a bulleted format what you offer, group these into large categories, so you end up 3 or 4 at the most.  You don’t want to put everything on the card, just enough to peak the interest and get the conversation going.  The next important piece is the Results from working with you, what will they experience by working with you, talk about the transformation and use descriptive words that grab attention.  Now add in your picture and short paragraph about why you are the expert in your field.  Finally create a call to action what do you want prospects to do, call for an appointment or a free consultation?  Creating a one pager that you can use with clients and prospects will help to start your conversations and make it easy for your clients to get to know you better.

Monday Marketing – Where’s your Focus?

Old School thought is Focus on your Company and products and they will sell themselves.  New School thought is focus on the prospect’s problems instead.   Understanding how your product or service can work to solve  a prospects business challenge is more important than your company, you or the product itself.  It’s up to you to know how to discover the prospects issues and how to help solve them and demonstrate value.  Think about the questions you can ask that will get your prospect talking it’s about them, not you or your product. It’s all about your clients and what’s in it for them.  

Are your Results Matching Your Expectations?

Are you lowering your expectations to fit your results? Instead improve your sales results to match your initial goals and dreams. If your business has reached a plateau, where no matter what you do you can’t seem to break beyond a certain income or turnover, fix it! Don’t just keep on doing more of the same. Find out what’s blocking you from achieving what you want and learn what you need to do to fix it. So how do you determine what’s blocking you? Take a look at the excuses you use that prevent you from accomplishing your goals. Are you goals manageable? Do you have each step laid out, if not write them out. Raise your expectations and your results will follow!

How SMART Are your Goals

January is just around the corner and have you given thought to your business goals for 2011?  Every year I create my vision board for what I want my business to accomplish in the coming year.  My vision board has both business and personal goals.  I then post it in my office so I can see it every day.  This is a constant reminder for me as to what I am working towards.  If we don’t know what we are working towards how will we know if we get there or accomplish what we set out to?  I create a list of all the goals I want to work on, and then I priortize the list.  What is really important to me and the bigger question is Why is this important to me?  What will happen if I can accomplish this goal or what happens if I fall short?

I use the A.I.M  S.M.A.R.T process to make sure I can break down each goal into manageable pieces so I can see and track my progress on a regular basis.

When creating goals determine your A.I.M. What is the Acceptable or least you could do? What is the Ideal or maximum you could do? Then what is the Middle or realistic for you to accomplish?  Once you have determined your AIM now we move onto the S.M.A.R.T.

S = Specific, your goal needs to be as specific as possible it needs to be broken down. If its to vague you will have a harder time breaking it down. For example if your goal is to lose weight this could be to vague.  Instead a more specific goal is to lose 10 pounds.

M – Measureable, how will you quantify success? Again be as specific as possible here.

A = Achievable, this would be answered with a yes or no and why.

R = Reasonable, can you accomplish your goal at this time? is there any roadblock to stopping you, if so identify and determine if it can be removed.

T = Time Oriented, what is the time frame to complete the goal, ensure it’s realistic.

Using a repeatable method for setting goals will allow to be more successful in reaching your goals.  Start applying the AIM SMART method to any goal and I would love to hear your about your progress.