I just want to be done hearing about – and living – this recession. All of the analogies, comparisons, sound bites, and talk. Most of the firms I know are getting down to business, marketing and focusing on their target market of prospects. But it is true that the recession is still here and there continues to be stories of businesses folding or becoming unrecognizable in terms of staff, clients and success. One of the most successful individuals I had the privilege to know was a top financial advisor for many years – one of the best in the nation. But the recession has been exceptionally hard on him. It causes a few conclusions and lessons: 1. Success is fleeting. 2. Change is necessary. 3. Testing new ideas is a critical task so that time/money is not wasted. 4. Having the right staff in place is critical in moving forward.
Ultimately, today we have to get more quantitative. If what we are doing is not getting tangible RESULTS, we have to make a change. Firms that have come through are doing a few things differently and better than ever before. Here are some of their smart and simple activities:
1. Focusing on sales and marketing again in an inspired way. The most successful have become more aggressive in messaging their value and benefits and letting their target market know what they do so well. It is simply getting back to a daily focus on the core of what makes a business successful – more sales.
2. Asking…”What’s the return on investment?” For instance, a seminar or event isn’t successful based on the number of attendees; it’s on the ultimate results and measurable outcomes (ie sales or referrals). Firms are getting increasingly quantitative – as if they were a publicly traded company – imagine that! Sounds simple, but setting a sales objective for everything you do, and reaching it is truly inspiring!
3. Reorganizing your staff objectives. How is your staff performing? Add a significant, measurable performance element to compensation. You may like your employees personally, but if they cannot meet performance measures, or client survey results are not showing that they are making an impact, then they could be hurting more than helping. Find out who is not a team player. A feud internally can cause significant issues that project onto your clients and prospects on behalf of your staff. And that is never good.
It is simple, but requires focus, strategy and motivation to make some small and large changes. Smart changes. Changes you probably should have made long ago.