“For an independent agent, having a plan, specific processes and a partner to keep you accountable is priceless.

As we head into the final weeks of 2014, now is the time to be planning for next year.  As we have studied top performers in our organization, in sports and business, we’ve noticed that a plan and clear processes are critical to growth and success.

Over the past week, my colleague Matt Tarkenton and I have met with four or five Tarkenton Financial agents to help them map out marketing plans, goals, and activities for 2015. We set goals, established activities to meet these goals and used a budget that fits with the individual agent.  These planning sessions have been extremely productive, and our agents have had a lot to say about how helpful it is to have a plan in place! Can you say the same?

With most of our agents, we’ve seen over the years that failure is two-pronged. First, it’s a lack of well-defined goals. How can you hit the target when you don’t know where it is? Whether it is your actual production “number” or the strategies you’ll use to reach it, a lack of specifics leads to the second part of the problem: failure to act! When you don’t have a plan for your marketing activities, or you’ve bitten off more than you can chew by setting too large a production goal, it’s way too easy to get overwhelmed. Inaction is the biggest cause for failure we see!

So how do you prevent the “inaction bug” and make 2015 a year of growth?

  1. Set realistic and achievable goals. Be honest with yourself.
  2. Set a budget that you can afford. Again, you will need to spend some money, but you don’t need to spend money you don’t have. There are many cost-effective ways to market.
  3. Be specific in choosing the marketing activities you will use. “We’ll do some direct mail” isn’t good enough. In which months will you do it? What will your message be?
  4. Take it one step at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do it all at once. Start with one thing and finish it. Then do another.
  5. Get an accountability partner. As an independent agent, you need someone to help you stay on track. One agent who started his plan this year told us, “for an independent agent, having a plan, specific processes and a partner to keep you accountable is priceless”.  Please use your Tarkenton Financial home office team as an accountability partner!

The most important thing is this: now is the time to get started! Call us at 800.659.4942 and let’s schedule a time to start your 2015 marketing plan. Matt and I would love to get on the phone and help you formulate a specific plan for greater activity and greater production!

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