CAN you recite your mission statement? My bet is you can’t.
Mission statements are prominently displayed on most websites and within company literature, but rarely used by the people they were designed for.
Want a dose of mission statement reality?
Here are some questions designed to make you think, squirm, and reassess your mission and its meaning.
• Who created your mission statement?
• What does it mean to you?
• Do you have it memorised?
• Do you have it up on the wall in your office?
• Is it your computer wallpaper?
• Does it in any way affect your corporate behaviour?
• How do your customers benefit from it?
• Does it inspire you?
• Does it motivate you to make more sales?
• Do any of your customers know your mission?
If the mission statement is so important, and so genuine, why doesn’t every employee commit it to memory, and execute it every day at work? Pretty sad, huh?
It’s formally called ‘a mission statement’, but the reality is, it’s the mission; your mission.
Is that how you treat it? Do you walk into a sales call thinking, “I gotta carry out the mission”? Have you ever given a second thought to your mission statement? Or is it just some hollow words drawn up by people who have no concept of reality, let alone sales, let alone your mission?
Well, all of that got me thinking about the real mission, and I realised that there are several missions needed for every company. One mission doesn’t fit all.
When I started to list the mission statements needed, it became apparent that these ‘missions’, if written by the people responsible for their execution, could change the culture of any company for the better.
Here are the missions I came up with.
• Company vision: It’s easier to make missions if you have a clear (big picture) vision. Start there. What are you seeking to achieve? How will you help, who will benefit, and what will their outcome be? Vision should be two paragraphs – one about people and one about business.
• Company mission: Words about how you will act, the quality you purvey, the fairness you’ll set an example for, the value of what you’ll provide, the loyalty you’ll seek to earn, the honesty you’ll speak, and the integrity you’ll display.
• Sales mission: Your sales mission is your real mission. My sales mission is to get the customer to buy from me based on value and relationship, and make the experience so memorable that they buy again, and tell other people how great I am.
• Customer mission: What do you want your customers to say about you? How do you want them to view your quality, value, ethics, service, friendliness, ease-of-doing-business, fairness, and speed of response?
• Employee mission: Not a policy, rather a statement of how you will treat people, communicate with people, train and educate everyone, provide opportunities to succeed, provide a workplace atmosphere to succeed, and be truthful with your people. This statement puts your business philosophy for all to see, and sets the tone of your environment and the expectation of your people to serve and be memorable.
• Vendor mission: Your business couldn’t operate without your suppliers. How are you ensuring that you will thrive without squeezing and choking the profit out of them? How are you partnering with them to grow sales? How will they feel about doing business with you?
• Profit mission: What are your profit motives? How will you invest your profits to grow people and business? How will you earn your profit? What actions are all employees to take to ensure maximum profit without sacrificing ethics?
• Community mission: What is your local commitment to involve yourself and your company? What are you volunteering for? How are you helping? What outcome are you hoping for? How will the community win?
Major clue: Make the mission statement congruent with the mission. How congruent is your mission statement?
Major clue: Missions are easiest to create by the people that execute them. Who’s creating yours? Who is executing yours?
Maybe it’s time to revise your mission.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com , will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email email@example.com