Business success is not as elusive as it seems. Winning BIG involves faithfully executing certain activities and principals. Like a Triple Crown contender, businesses must perform at the highest levels to beat their competitors.
Justify ran home to the cheers of the crowd and captured the Triple Crown at Belmont this year. What a horse! He lead the pack in all three races and glided across each finish line with seeming effortlessness. In a similar way, capturing success in business requires producing quantifiable results. Companies must prove their worth through repeated successes in the market place. Most importantly, they need to provide a quality customer experience if they hope to gain long term, repeat business and referrals.
The term ‘handicapping’ is used in horse racing to describe the art of selecting winners. It uses all the information and statistics available to predict outcomes.
Some of the criteria used for handicapping horses are:
Is the horse successful running this distance?
How well does he/she handle this track/racing surface?
When was the last time this horse was in a race?
Is the horse a fast starter or strong finisher?
There is an interesting parallel between picking a winner in horse racing and predicting business success.
Below is the business success equivalent to handicapping horses
Does the company’s product/service provide quantifiable results?
Do they have experience working in this industry?
How much business does this company have?
What is the quality of their customer service?
Achieving Goals for Business Success
Goals must be set to produce results for business success. Gino Wickman refers to goals as ‘rocks’ in his book “Traction”. Because goals cannot be achieved without mastering skills, training is a key component of business success. By mastering an array of skills that will produce repeatable, quality results businesses can produce desired results. Therefore, these are the companies that are going to be winning contenders in any marketplace.
Do you know what foundational goals you should set to have a winning business?
Do you have the skills to obtain those goals?
With over 30 years in business, we’ve seen our share of winners cross the finish line, as well as, businesses that never make it. We’ve compiled out list of criteria for handicapping a business. We call them the 9 Non-Negotiables because they provide the means for business success.
The 9 non-negotiables for business success are:
Good race horses understand racing. While the jockey is an important part of the race, most riders will tell you that the horses could find the finish line without them. In fact, YouTube has a video of one horse who lost his jockey at the beginning of the race (the jockey was not hurt). Despite this, he ran that race as if mounted, changing leads at appropriate times, and won the race by two and a half lengths.
Do you know where your ‘finish line’ is? Have you determined the following?
What you want as an end result? – (long term and short term)
When you want to attain these goals?
Why you want to attain these goals?
The third question is the most important yet tends to be the most neglected. What is the real reason (personally and/or professionally) you want to attain these goals?
Your “WHY” determines your perseverance as you pursue your goals. The stronger your ‘why’ the more likely you are to apply consistent effort toward achieving them. Having a conscious acknowledgement of the deep reasons motivating each specific goal tends to pull you through challenging situations, keeping you on track.
‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’. Many race horses will not let another horse pass them. They are ambitious. Seabiscuit was such a horse. No one taught him to be this way and no horse, however how much larger or faster, could out run him.
Ambition or internal motivation is not a teachable skill. Each individual must bring this element to the table.
Many companies make hiring decisions based upon impressive resumes or natural charisma. This is a recipe for hiring mistakes. Instead, we recommend companies consider hiring individuals who exhibit ambition. These individuals can be easily taught the skills needed for the position after they are hired.
Self-motivated people tend to find a way to be successful. However, no amount of training can fix a lazy or unmotivated individual.
Racing involves going the distance. This requires preparation, practice, and pacing. Horses, jockeys, and trainers maintain a rigorous schedule. They follow a plan for daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly activities.
Develop the self-discipline to plan and execute habits that will help you achieve your goals. This is essential for business success. So much of what we do on a daily basis is habit-driven that developing the right habits will help to instill discipline into our lives. Hiring a qualified coach to help you set goals, develop habits, and hold you accountable on a daily basis is well worth your investment.
Character is the ability to carry out a worthwhile decision after the emotion of making that decision has past.” Dennis Waitley
4. Communication and People Skills
Horse and jockey must communicate effectively. Creating a winning team requires hour upon hour of training to build a relationship between horse and rider.
Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and author, defines competent communication and people skills as “maximizing effective and productive human interaction to everyone’s benefit”.
How do you develop strong people skills? This process involves recognizing and adapting to the behavior and communication styles of others in order to build rapport.
Rapport is the deepest level of relationship between individuals in a business setting. It is established when harmony and accord have been reached between all parties. At rapport these individuals know, like, and trust one another. This does not mean they agree on every issue. It means they have attained a mutual respect for each other’s opinions.
When is the last time you read a book or attended a training for improving your people skills? Whether it is DISC, Myers Briggs, assertive communication, or some other program for building people skills, maintaining these skills will require engagement in training on a regular basis.
Discover how to building rapport in our FREE eCourse “3 Keys for Building Rapport”.
5. Lead Generation
Lead generation in horse racing involves getting familiar with breeders, blood lines of successful horses, jockeys, and trainers. Great blood lines produce great mounts. In business, qualified leads are the life blood of your business. The saying is true, “No leads, no business”. However, for business success think, “Know leads, know business.”
Successful businesses focus on lead generation every day and analyze the effectiveness of each method of lead generation they employ. Consider the following:
Who are your highest income producing clients?
Where are you most likely to find them? (networking events, LinkedIn, other social media)
Which methods, materials, ads, seminars, books have been most successful in building your brand and influence in the market place?
Effective lead generation techniques will have a positive impact on your bottom line.
6. Phone Skills – Following Up Your Leads
Finding a great horse is just the beginning. To make money you must follow up and purchase the colt. David Hanley, general manager of WinStar, said that Justify stood out at the sales. “He was a beautiful yearling – had great balance and leg, great shoulder, and lovely length and neck, and power,” he said. The owners paid $500,000 for Justify. His estimated worth now is $75 million.
Business success requires generating and following up on qualified leads. Are your follow ups producing revenue or are you practicing multiplication by zero? I know a business woman who is great at generating leads on-line. She confessed to me that she had over five thousand of leads! However, she has no idea how to covert these leads into paying clients. Five thousand times zero is still zero. Leads without effective follow up produce a balance sheet with a big, fat zero.
We encourage the use of the phone to follow up leads. The phone can be the differentiator in your business. It shortens the sales cycle, respects your clients busy schedule, and drastically reduces expensive ‘windshield’ time.
How are you on the phone? Effective phone contacting takes practice and coaching to master the skills needed to pre-qualify clients and set up quality appointments. These types of interactions create high ROI and continued success for sales teams.
7. Your Sales Presentation
Horses can’t win races in the barn. Justify had to show up for a race. You must sell something if you want to remain in business. Evaluate the effectiveness of you sales team by analyzing:
Are the members of your sales team doing face-to-face, phone or virtual appointments? We have found that successful sales professionals book 20 sales appointments per month, every month.
Is your sales presentation concise and easy to follow? Confused clients rarely buy.
How effective is you sales team at handling objections?
The percentage of people in our population that are slower paced is 65%. Therefore, they are more reticent for making a purchase after only one meeting. How is your team with follow up?
8. Priority Management
Race horses follow a ridged schedule. Justify’s trainer was Bob Baffert. He was held accountable for the progress and handling of this horse. The results did not disappoint. To whom are you accountable?
Priority management goes beyond simple time management as it is built totally around the specific long range and short term goals chosen. It is a unique method for discerning the most effective use of time and provides an accountability to the individual personally as well as the team.
Lack of accountability is killing businesses. We have found that it is common for owners to allow low achievement from manager’s employees. Yet, owners are carrying all the risk. Instituting an accountability program for optimal performance will improve the bottom line.
9. Delegate – Find a Winning Jockey
The owner of the horse is usually not the best choice for racing it. Owners need to select a skilled professional for this task. Business owners do not need to be good at everything. However, they are expected to hire experts in their field.
Business success can be achieved by seeking expertise from outside sources. This may be in the areas of training, HR, social media, branding, etc. Selecting service providers to work with is one of the most critical decisions an owner can make. For instance, if you are working with 5 providers and you receive 20% higher results than your competitors are receiving from their providers, the cumulative impact on your bottom line would be 100% over that competitor.
For this reason, it is worth spending time researching to find the best provider for your situation. You will waste time and money working with the wrong individuals.
Global Gurus increases business success by simplifying your search
Fortunately for busy business owners, the process of picking the best provider has been simplified by Global Gurus. GlobalGurus is a research association that seeks out the top pioneer speakers, trainers and proactive authors globally across specific categories who have had positive effects on their industry.
They are an organization whose advice you can trust because Global Gurus makes their revenue from advertisers at their sites and not from a GURU or GURU candidate. This is not one of those “Best…” lists where the only qualification is a large cash endowment. They do not sell their rankings nor do they give any ranking consideration to organizations who advertise. All Global Guru Sites choose thought leaders who make an impact and from people who took time to vote for them.
Categories include: Leadership, Management, Communication, Sales, Coaching, Education, NLP, Hospitality, Brand, Customer Service, Body Language, Internet Marketing, Organizational Culture, and Time Management.
Joe Pici is proud to be associated with Global Gurus. He is very honored to have been ranked in the top 30 sales trainers internationally.
Make sure your backing the right horse. Follow the nine non-negotiables for business success and we’ll see you in the winner’s circle!
Joe & Dawn Pici help companies and individuals gain an unfair advantage over their competition through tactical skill training. Visit their website at www.PiciandPici.com or call 407-947-2590.