How Diligent Are You? — Phase One
Every 45 days, you have a new opportunity to Get Diligent and build your business!
Diligent — not the first word you think of when you think about new business programs, is it? Yet it should be one of the first words that you think and rethink every 45 days. Why 45 days? Based on any number of studies, 45 days is the time frame that you need to promote your business— basically every month and a half, 8.2 times per year, year after year!
Sounds like a lot of work? Think of the added benefits, the profits, and the new business that this plan, that getting diligent, will bring.
Diligent also describes nearly every successful client I have ever work with. Diligent is defined as “conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.” In my mind, there has never been a successful business, program, or person that does fit or exceed this definition.
Diligent also has very powerful business building synonyms, including: industrious, hard working, meticulous, rigorous, thorough, tenacious, zealous, dedicated, tireless, and indefatigable.
Stop reading this NOW!
Please, please, pretty please with sugar on top, if you, your firm, or your sales team cannot select at least six of the above synonyms and swear that those words and their very important definitions apply to you, and then stop reading this article now. I truly believe that without diligence at your core, there is no hope for you now or in the future.
On the other hand, if you can guarantee that you hold at least six of these words and their definitions dear to your business heart, then you are (and most likely have been) on the road to success. Following my Get Diligent program will put you in the fast lane, the passing lane, and the toll free autobahn driving you nearly autonomously to your most desired destination of new business and added profits.
Getting started to Get Diligent
Consider this statement: “It is never new business, it is the future of your business.” Accepting this statement as a mantra alone should re-define your commitment to building your business through sales, marketing, and integrated print-based technologies.
Any new business program needs to be constructed on a sound and values-based foundation. This should apply not only to sales or only to marketing, but to a fully integrated platform that includes marketing, communications, and sales — all based on success, as measured by profit-based new business.
Stage One: Internal Changes
- Are you aware of your clients’ and prospects’ needs?
- How do you incorporate and enhance the interests of your firm in your communications with your clients and prospects?
- What is your level of desire to do more than “gain new business?”
- How easy is it for your clients and prospects to enact their desire to work with you?
Stage One - External Changes:
- How well do your clients know your firm?
- How well do your prospects know your firm?
- How well do you know your competitors and their client base?
- How well do you understand the new technologies used to develop an effective customer or prospect dialogue?
- How real are your expectations, program goals, and objectives?
To institute both the internal and external steps listed above, you need to be fully aware of the trends, the future, and the needs of business you expect to go after. That means start with research — your first step to gaining control of your future is controlled research.
What is your business model?
Correctly applied and developed research will allow you to define your actions and allow you to move forward with a fully realized plan. Research will allow you to answer the Internal and external questions listed above, as well as to determine the most effective way to address each point listed. This is a process that many print providers and marketers — many brands (which is what you are now) — often ignore.
Who owns your client list? Not just your salespeople
Client list ownership is not as important as client list accuracy, relevance, and relationship to your plans and new business program. Is your sales team hunting in the wrong pastures? You as an owner or manager need not to always own the client list (in actuality you will own the list based on your job performance), but you must influence your sales team, your hunters, your gatherers to be aligned with your brand and, of course, with your future.
Have your hunters become gatherers, or are they hunting in the wrong pastures?
New business is constantly in motion. Some moves are seasonal, some are across time, and others are due to changes in the sales and needs environment. In sales talk — marketing changes, funnels change, needs and desires change. Many times, business models and expectations do not change, however. Based on my experience, you might likely discover that your sales team is hunting in a dry, barren vertical—one that is based not on trends, research, or needs but based on convenience, ease of living, and safety. Remember the 80/20 rule! You have the ability to change your hunting plans every 45 days — do it!
Is your sale team integrated with your marketing team and with your senior management?
In a recent article I posted last month on piworld.com (http://www.piworld.com/post/clash-titans-sales-versus-marketing/), I addressed the integration of your sales and marketing, integration needed to hone the effort to be as sharp and as accurate as your estimates.
Sales needs marketing; marketing needs sales. They are both foundational elements to your new business efforts and to putting a roof over your head — not to mentioned a car, boats, vacation, or other business perks. When you do not integrate these two “friends,” you are building a foundation on sand, applying a roof already loaded with holes, or often hunting in a dead zone!
Start by re-reading the opening sentence of this article — “Every 45 days, you have a new opportunity to Get Diligent and build your business!” Then, start thinking, acting, and preparing to develop not a month-long or three-month-long new business effort, but a year-long effort that, once established, is as self-sustaining as possible and is as clearly based on production and reporting as possible.
Printers are brands and marketers; they now need to think that way
Timeline marketing can be simply divided by season — spring, summer, fall, and winter. These seasonal divisions have little direct relationship, on face value, to a printer, but printers can benefit from developing a summer sale/promotion, a spring house cleaning event, a colorful fall event, and a winter in-plant seminar series. Understand that each promotion will need to be promoted, via a defined media and timeline.
If you follow this concept you are half way to becoming Diligent (think more profitable). The next step — the second half — is to know the why, what, how, and when your current clients or prospects will need your services and skill set. Put the two halves together, and you are being or at least getting diligent.
Get Diligent, the future of YOUR business!
Thad Kubis is an unconventional storyteller, offering a confused marketplace a series of proven, valid, integrated marketing/communication solutions. He designs B2B or B2C experiential stories founded on Omni-Channel applications, featuring demographic/target audience relevance, integration, interaction, and performance analytics and program metrics.