Outcome Goals vs. Activity Goals
By Corey Keltner, Practice Development Specialist
As we settle into the last few months of the year and look at our progress thus far, we may be asking ourselves if we are on track to meet our goals for the year. It is easy to set unrealistic goals where we decide on tens of millions in new assets or increasing client goodwill and referrals without thinking through those most basic units of action necessary to meet those goals. Many of us were taught to set high goals and look at them every day to give us motivation; however, over time this can wear a person down and force abandonment of those lofty goals because there is no clear process for achieving them.
Oftentimes we turn to hope. You hope that your favorite client comes through for you and refers another good client or two so that you can end the year with your goals met and your pride intact. Hope is no plan of action and when it is relied upon many well-meaning goal setters decide that outcome goals are a lost cause.
We often fail to realize that there is another type of goal: an activity goal. An activity goal allows us to work toward the big picture by setting aside time daily to handle the simple action steps. Since we are in a relationship business, the most basic action unit is almost always related to communication. So, the answer to your goals problem lies in taking simple yet systematic steps toward a higher level of communication.
Before going any further, it may be helpful to note that there are two distinct types of communication: personal and impersonal. We live in a society where unique personalized experiences are highly valued, and canned, impersonal communication can potentially detract from your ultimate goal.
Creating simple, personalized and systematic communication does not need to be too complicated. Personal communication can be service related. For example, you can call your clients when the market takes a dive to reassure them. Personal communication can also be prospecting related. Thanking someone for attending a fundraiser and inviting them to lunch is very personal and will be noticed. The systematic part of the approach means that you realize that you must attend X number of events to get Y number of lunches and ultimately get Z number of 1st appointments.
If you have found certain outcome goals too difficult to achieve, then maybe it’s time to get rid of them altogether. Instead, make it a point to define and focus on those basic action items that propel you forward. It is much more rewarding to realize that the 20 calls you made to clients today are getting you that much closer to the next referral, rather than waiting for the referral to come before you get any personal gratification.
If you have questions please email Corey Keltner at