Four Ways to Get the Best Results from your Accountability Partner
What’s the best way to use an accountability partner?
In my last two articles I have told you a lot about the benefits of accountability. But there are a number of ways to get the best out of an accountability partner. Let’s look at all of them in a little more detail.
Use an accountability partner to set the right goals
An accountability partner is someone who can be extremely valuable when it comes to the goal setting process. They can question your reasoning for setting goals and make sure that you set the right goals. They should make sure that you set yourself a hard enough task. At the same time, they can stop you from being too optimistic. They can make sure that everything you plan to do is relevant to your final targets.
The very fact that you have to explain your targets to an accountability partner gives you clarity. It forces you to think through your decisions and make sure that you have set the right activities for the results that you want. The accountability partner will often make you think about setting the right amount of activity as well as the right actual activities.
Send your accountability partner regular emails
It is not necessary to talk or meet with an accountability partner all the time. You should report into them weekly. However, this can simply be in the form of an email. It is usually enough simply to state what you have achieved over the past week. It is also useful to share any successes or challenges.
Sometimes, you may not always achieve what you have set out to do. In this case it is useful to include a commentary to say what has derailed you. You should also state what you plan to do about this.
This weekly reporting system makes sure that you review whether you are on track with your activities. It gives you a chance to review what is going well. It gives you a chance to review any roadblocks and work out the way forward. It is an essential part of making sure that you keep up your activity. However, it is not enough on its own.
Have a regular call or meeting with your accountability partner
Regular reporting by email is very useful but it is not enough on its own. It is important to schedule a monthly meeting with your accountability partner as well. This meeting doesn’t have to be face-to-face. It is fine to use video conferencing, via Skype or similar, or to schedule a call.
This meeting allows you to discuss your progress in more depth. If you are on track, is there more that you could be doing? If you are struggling to achieve the right activity levels, what is getting in your way? Have you managed to solve the challenges you face? Do you need some help to progress things? Are your activity targets and sales goals still realistic?
Review your targets
Discussing these issues in more depth with your accountability partner gives you a chance to have a more strategic review of your sales targets. It is also a good opportunity to think about whether they should be altered in any way. Alternatively, you may realize that you need to seek help in order to achieve the right activity. Sometimes issues become obvious from an email. However, typically it is this longer conversation that identifies them.
Who is the right accountability partner for you?
Sometimes an external person is the best person to be your accountability partner. The fact that you are paying for this service gives you an excellent incentive to make sure you achieve every week. In addition, they are not influenced by company cultural politics. An unbiased perspective can be highly useful.
Professional mentoring is one of the services I offer to my clients. If you would like to know more about this option please contact me.
P.S. Find out more ideas on how to increase sales with today’s buyers: download my free e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” right now. You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to sell print effectively. Also, check out my book, "How To Succeed At Print Sales: Setting targets, planning the right activities and making sure goals are met." You’ll discover all the right targets you should be working on with your accountability partner.
Related story: Three Vital Things to Understand About Accountability
Many printing companies are frustrated how hard it is to engage buyers in today’s world. That’s where Matthew Parker can help. He is a gamekeeper turned poacher. Parker has bought print for more than 20 years and received over 1,400 print sales pitches. He now uses his buyer’s point of view to give practical advice to printers. He helps them engage with prospects and customers to create profitable relationships.
Download his free e-book, "Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them" and check out his recently launched book, "How To Succeed At Print Sales: Setting targets, planning the right activities and making sure goals are met."