SSMARTER Objectives for Network Marketers

SSMARTER ObjectivesUnderstanding the process of evaluating your progress can be simple, but it can also be confusing, With the right mindset and vocabulary SMMARTER objectives can help you be a better network marketer. Obviously your first question is “What are SSMARTER Objectives?” Before I get into that, I want to share some vocabulary.. With over 20 years as a professional evaluator, I’ve studied this and been confused by it just like everyone else. Over time and with a lot of study and in-the-field experience, I settled on some concepts that help me make sense of the process.

The Evaluation Vocabulary Problem

Part of the problem is that words like “goals” and “evaluation” tend to be used to describe different things so you end up being confused, It is easy to say things like “My long term Goal is Financial Freedom and my short term goal is to sign up two team members this month. In order to do that I have set a goal of talking to five people every day.” The word gaol has been used to describe three different thing and it becomes hard to follow the process. In a similar manner, it is easy to talk about evaluating the steps in a plan and then evaluating the plan and evaluating the results achieved by carrying out a plan. Here are the terms I learned to use over the years.

  • Goals – Goals are the very highest level. They are usually unattainable because they are NOT specific and you don’t have an easy way to know when you reached the,=m. Financial Freedom is a goal. Helping 1,000 people is a goal (it has a number but the word “help” is very fuzzy.
  • Objectives – Objectives are time bounded and measurable. We set objectives that we hope will take us toward our goal. This can be tricky. For example, one area I worked in was Drug Abuse Prevention. The goal was to reduce drug abuse. This goal is unattainable since we wouldn’t know when we got there. That doesn’t mean is was not something to work on, but it isn’t something you can get concrete numbers on. The tricky part was figuring out a plan of action that will reduce drug abuse. Techniques that were meant to scare young people about the “horrors” of drug abuse actually increased drug use. Kids would say. “I know people who use and none of that crap happens to them. There must be something very good about using drugs if the adults are so blatantly lying about it.” As an evaluation consultant I flew around the country and never saw two programs with the same plan of action.
  • Evaluation – Evaluation is assessing if the procedures planned to reach the objectives were followed AND whether those procedures accomplished the objective. In some cases you can also evaluate whether you are closer to you goal or not, (As a network marketer, you can determine if your income has increased or not. You might realize that you signed up several people, but none of them are working the business or buying any products.)

    For example you might plan to have five conversations about your business every day and that should result in signing two new team members in a month. Evaluating this plan would first look at whether or not the plan was followed. (This requires that you track your activity, which is a different issue. See the article on a Google Sheet designed to help you track your activity.) The second half of the evaluation is simply checking to see how many new team members were signed up during the month. Based on the results you make decisions about how well the process worked and whether or not to continue the current plan or adjust it. (A very simple model that has been around for years is Plan, Act, Check and Adjust.)
  • Critiquing – When you subjectively look are one part of the process and make decisions on how well it went and what might be done to improve it, you are critiquing.
  • Adjust – Adjusting or revising is the process of modifying your plan and trying again

What is the SSMARTER Objectives Process

Different people use different words here, but these are the ones I like. In fact you may have seen another version that just uses one “S” – SMART Objectives. For our purposes SSMARTER Objectives is more suited to our needs. Here are the pieces of SSMARTER objectives.

STEP 1 – The first step is working with SSMARTER Objectives is to set a simple, measurable and achievable objective with a time limit. In the example I have been using, we want to sign up two new team members by the end of the month.. This simple and at the end of the month we can easily see if we reached the objective. We either signed up two new team members or we didn’t.

STEP 2 – In the second part of the SSMARTER Objective process we lay out a plan of ACTION that should allow us to achieve the objective. This plan should follow the SSMARTER process. Here are the pieces.

  • Simple – As network marketers we are working to become professional network marketers, but everyone starts as a beginner and we need to develop procedures for beginners. Keeping thing Simple is critical.
  • Specific – Our procedures must be very specific. The fuzzier things are, the more chances there are that beginners will drift off course and start doing things that don’t work or are not “Income Producing”.
  • Measurable – Measurable means that we can count something and if different people carry out the count, they will all get the same results. “I am going to help 10 people every month” is not measurable. Different people would count the number of people “helped” differently.
  • Action-oriented – We can control our activities and that is where we need to keep our focus. We plan and hope that the activities will help us reach our objectives, but we need to focus on the activities and carry them out consistently. One of my favorite sayings (learned recently) is “Marry the process and divorce the outcome.” Again, we can control the actions in our process and that is what we need to focus on.
  • Reasonable – The action plan need to be made up of reasonable steps. It is easy to set up a plan that will wear a person out and cause them to quit before they see results.
  • Time-bounded – You must set a time limit on your objective. Saying “I’m going to recruit two new team members” could result in your wasting your time for a year or two without ever stopping to evaluate whether your plan is working.
  • Evaluatie – – At the end of your time period, you take a look and see if you actually did what you planned to da and whether or not it resulted in achieving your stated objective.
  • Revise – I usually use the word “Adjust” here, but revise works. Here you are changing you plan of attack to improve your results. Then you start the process over.

There are a few other aspects which I will mention briefly.

  1. You must set a reasonable objective
  2. You must create a reasonable plan of action.
  3. You must find the appropriate tools to carry out your plan of action (for example, you may need scripts or ways to identify high quality leads.
  4. You must establish a way to track your activity.
  5. You need a mentor or at least someone to hold you accountable. Network marketing is not a “stand alone” business. Your mentor can help you create a reasonable plan and acquire the tools to carry out that plan. Usually this plan of action will be one that others have used and found to be easy to follow and achieve result with.
  6. In our example, you need to at least think about what you are going to do when you reach your objective. In other words, what are you going to do with those two new team members your recruited.
  7. You need to critique your process as you carry it out. Try to improve during the process. (This is different from “research” where the evaluator/researcher wants the process to stay static during the time period of the study.) You want to be growing and improving all the time!

I belong to a training group called the Beach Boss Influencers. It is run by five ladies who teach network marketing. (You can buy passage to their beach at this link: https://www.beachbossinfluencers.com/membership/)

One of the recent training covered this material (with slightly different words.) One of the things I especially liked was the section on critiquing presentations, one-on-one calls or Facebook Lives that you carry out as part of your plan. Cari Higham pointed out that it was very easy to beat yourself up when you critique your own work. In order to carry out a successful critique and minimize beating yourself up, she suggested.

  1. Write out three things that WORKED
  2. Write out two thing that need improvement
  3. Write out one thing that you will change next time.

There you have it, SSMARTER objectives and SSMARTER plans of action with evaluation and critiquing thrown in to help you on you road to success.

Until Next Time. Remember, You Are One Decision Away…! Oh Hale Yes
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