How to set fourth quarter goals the right way

 

The fourth quarter has started, and it’s time to set goals for what your company wants to achieve by the end of the year.

But not every goal is effective. The way you designate and describe your targets has a big impact on the likelihood you’ll reach them. Read on to learn how to set goals the right way in the fourth quarter:

Be realistic

Fourth quarter business is up against a set of obstacles not seen during the rest of the year, such as budgets running out and the holidays causing a slowdown in activity. Set goals that reflect the realities of the season, and let your company’s performance in fourth quarters past guide the goals you set this time around.

As author and business coach Marla Tabaka noted in an interview with Inc. magazine, if you usually have a slow season in the fourth quarter but have established more aggressive targets than ever before, you’re just setting yourself up to fail. Instead, set goals that are more realistic; the satisfaction you and your team feels once you achieve them will be a positive motivating force that helps you start the next year strong.

Connect the goals to employees

People are more motivated to achieve goals when the targets in question align with their personal ambitions.

The Executive Guide to Goal Setting from software firm AchieveIt cited an example of this principle at Coca-Cola. The company wanted employees to achieve goals that helped them fulfill the company’s mission statement, which was to increase shareholder value. However, some employees felt too disconnected from shareholders to feel motivated to achieve these goals. In response, Amy Bergin, a former training consultant for Coca-Cola, designed a program that involved having employees set their own goals and then link these goals to the corporate mission to establish a more personal sense of motivation. Look for ways at your organization to more closely entwine employees’ individual goals and companywide ambitions.

Consider phrasing

The goals that are more likely to be achieved are those that use specific language. Instead of simply vowing to generate more leads, quantify how many you hope to have by the end of the year, and in which industries or verticals, for example.

“The moment you focus on a goal, your goal becomes a magnet, pulling you and your resources toward it,” said goal-setting expert Ryan Blair in an interview with The Balance. “The more focused your energies, the more power you generate.”

Empower your employees the best you can by establishing goals that use clear and specific language.

Follow these tips to help set your team up for success in the home stretch of the year. Now go hit your goals out of the park!

7 webinar preparation tips

Webinars offer dynamic ways for businesses of all types to generate leads and establish themselves as thought leaders. But preparation makes all the difference in whether your webinar is a productive marketing channel or ultimately a waste of time. 

To help you put on a stellar webinar that adds value to both your audience's lives and your company's bottom line, follow these tips:

1. Keep the webinar to the point 

When you have a camera in front of you, it can be tempting to treat the opportunity like a Hollywood audition. However, webinars where the presenters go on and on about themselves or their services turn off viewers. Be sure to establish your webinar's goal – for example, teaching clients tips for successfully using cloud software or sharing important news about your company – and then, stick to the script. 

2. Give more than a sales pitch 

In our digital age, audiences are smart; they know when they're being given a sales pitch, and no one wants to feel like they're so blatantly being sold something. Webinars that are too sales-y or self-promoting can decrease audience engagement. 

3. Craft a catchy title 

Your potential webinar audience is constantly being confronted with grabs for its attention. The internet is saturated with content, so remember what you're competing against when designing a webinar. A catchy title will hook viewers – best practice is to keep it to no more than 15 words. 

4. Make it easy to register 

With all the media vying for people's attention, if people have to complete a complex registration process for the webinar, they're not going to bother. Include only registration fields that truly are necessary. The more fields to fill out, the less likely people are to register. 

5. Properly promote the webinar

Use a multichannel approach to most effectively promote your webinar, with campaigns on email and social media. For best results, start marketing the event at least two weeks in advance. 

6. Send a reminder 

Everyone's to-do list is miles long these days, so ensure your webinar hasn't been forgotten by sending a reminder email to people who have registered 24 hours before the event. 

7. Practice, practice, practice

Before you say "action!" practice your webinar presentation more than once. Do a full run-through with the tech to make sure everything goes smoothly the day of. 

With these tips, you can knock your webinars out of the park!