To Prepare for Growth, Begin by Pruning
There can be a disconnect between being busy every day with clients and achieving the results that you deserve. The first questions that come to mind are what are you busy doing, who are you doing it for, and is this the best place for you to be investing your time? Yes, I’m aware that it’s an order and it needs your undivided attention and that it won’t take you long to handle. But is it an order from an ideal client or from one of the random accounts that make up the vast number of accounts you have, that in aggregate add up to a tiny amount of your overall business?
When you look closely, many of these accounts are the ones that require a lot of hand holding yet generate few sales dollars. These are the accounts that you may see on the rework list or that require a discounted price for each order.
Author Jim Collins describes his hedgehog concept this way. Focus on the areas that you can be the best at, that drive your economic engine, and that you are passionate about. You most likely are doing work with accounts that fall in the middle of those three areas. To have time to pursue more like those, you may have to prune your account list of those accounts that don’t fall within that range.
Look, I’m not advocating that you get rid of all your small accounts. What I am advocating is that it’s hard to nurture your ideal clients, and to make the time to find more like them if you aren’t using your time wisely. If you are leading the sales team, you make the decision if you need to step away from some of these accounts.
These are ideas for refining your sales approach to maximize your revenue generating efforts. If you’d like, I’ll provide the pruning shears and we can go through your client list one by one. In the meantime, if you have ideas or comments on the subject, please include them below. Good luck and remember, doing nothing certainly is an option, just not a great one!
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at email@example.com.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.