Most people agree there is no better time to think about setting goals than the beginning of a new year. Its also a time when insurance agents are busy evaluating what they did the previous year and looking to create success in the next 12 months.
Agents goals cover the spectrum. Some decide to enter new markets. Others may want to hire a new assistant or qualify for the Million Dollar Round Table or a prestigious company award. While some just want more time off.
Joseph St. Pedro, president of St. Pedro & Associates Financial Services in Royersford, Pa., revisits his goals every year and breaks them down–right to the point of knowing how many phone calls he has to make to reach them.
“In 2001, every time I picked up the phone it was worth $421.43, whether the person answered the phone or not. Last year, it was worth $542.85,” he explains.
For 2003, St. Pedro plans on adding 15% to his sales volume, across all lines of business. According to St. Pedro, its important to spread your production across a number of different product lines. And while he may not achieve a 15% increase in every product line he offers, he says they should all balance out–as they did for him in 2002.
“Last September I was ahead on variable products by about 7%, but in October it started to slack off. I was thinking things werent going so well until I saw that my fixed business was up 300%,” he says.
When setting his goals, St. Pedro says its important to break them up into different categories–otherwise you may be overwhelmed. He sets short-term, long-term and personal goals every year.
Some of his short-term goals include: reaching Top of the Table, being one of the top four producers with his broker-dealer, and adding one estate-planning case per quarter from someone with a net worth of $4 million or more.
As part of his five-year plan, his long-term goals include what he wants his business to be worth and the amount of assets under management he would like.
By breaking his short-term goals down exactly to how many calls he needs to make every day, he feels that all his goals will fall into place. “If I make those phone calls every week and see that many people, somethings going to come out of it,” he says.
Frank DeFederico of Financial Directions Inc., in Toronto, Ont., Canada, recently changed the way he looks at setting goals. “I used to gear everything to dollars and cents, but I decided I wanted to do what was important to me,” he explains. “And its important to me to work less.”
First, DeFederico decides how many days he wants to work a year, then he determines how much income he wants to earn, and, like St. Pedro, breaks it down to a daily production level.