Maybe It’s Not ALWAYS So Simple!
Last week, I wrote about how when you find yourself in difficulty, the remedy is almost always something simple. After submitting the post, I realized that I wasn’t being completely fair or accurate. The analogy that I used was that when babies cry, it is USUALLY because they are hungry, tired, or need a diaper change. However, sometimes with babies, the problem and subsequent solutions are not always so cut and dried.
For example, one of my sons had been suffering and was terribly difficult; he was gassy, fussy and generally unhappy for WEEKS. At first, I thought he was just a bit colicky, but the prospect of suffering through hours of crying while trying to tend to three other children was too daunting. It took me a long time to finally do some research, identify that it could have been what I was eating, and then eliminate those things that were the most likely to be the culprit, according to some mom forums on the internet.
I gave up chocolate, caffeine and dairy. And yes, I was miserable. After one week of this elimination, I began to reintroduce my milk to the suffering babe, and Voilà—he was a changed boy. In fact, that whole week on formula he was miraculously transformed into a delightful baby. Problem solved.
But it wasn’t so easy. It required research, and yes, sacrifice on my part. So how does this translate to you and your business? Here are a few things to consider.
If your business has tapered off, the answer might not be so simple as price or quality. Has a new competitor moved in on your territory? Have you hired a new CSR or estimator who could be rubbing customers the wrong way? And how would you know?
You have to ask. You have to do research. Talk to your customers to find out if there is a problem. Consider a survey. But try to get to the bottom of it.
If the problem is with a particular salesperson, talk to him or her. Find out what s/he has been doing, and find out if there are some areas that need further coaching or development.
The solution might not be so simple. It might require some serious commitment on your part. It might take sacrifice. It might take some real detective work. And you might not like what you find. But if you sense a problem, and you want to fix it and not suffer needlessly, you’ll get to the bottom of it. It is not realistic to think that problems will just fix themselves. And once you identify the problem, you’ll be glad you figured it out and are on your way to a new and brighter future.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.