Keep it in the black while the economy is in the red.
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”, is the compelling opener to A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens. Is the current economy creating the ‘best of times’ for your business or are you experiencing a dramatic downturn? There is no doubt that many have lost jobs, GNP is lagging and capital is tight. But is the economy the real or only reason for poor performance? Let’s face it, only 1 in 5 businesses succeed in great economic times.
Healthy businesses are characterized by the following:
1. They have staff that is involved in on-going training and are keenly knowledgeable of the product/service.
2. Committed to lead generation. They are not satisfied to be simply order takers. They are order makers.
3. They have a systematic methodology for sales.
4. They have researched and niched their message to captivate a specific target market.
5. They give great customer service.
6. They understand and apply principles for creating rapport with their client base which develops client loyalty and quality referrals.
7. They have engineered a working environment characterized by mutual respect between co-workers and management.
When businesses begin to decline they begin to exhibit some (if not all) of the following characteristics.
1. The focus shifts from productivity to management. Management and employees are about the business of busyness. Employees are busy but not necessarily productive spending more time on maintaining the status-quot than the activities of creating NEW business.
2. There is a loss of focus on self- improvement. Companies and individuals tend to cut back on training to lower costs not realizing that in doing so they are cutting their throats. Effective, on-going training is the fuel to feed the income producing engine. This results in losing the cutting edge so necessary to remain competitive.
3. They begin to associate and compare themselves with non-producers.
4. The work environment is saturated with conflict and turf wars.
5. Excuse-itis – In their attempt to justify themselves they begin to playing the blame game. They blame the economy, the clients, the management, the product, government regulation – what ever meets their needs.
Unfortunately, companies experiencing 2 or more of the above are seeing dollars fly out the door to competitors. However, it’s not too late from most organizations to turn it around and create the ‘best of times’.
Here are three keys to get back in the black.
1. Accountability – Fresh eyes to assess your situation, provide a solution and accountability. For companies this may mean bringing in a team of experts. If your an individual, find a mentor. Remember this tip. When seeking council look for fruit on the tree. Find consultants/mentors who have a history of gaining results for your industry.
2. Personal and corporate growth – For training to be effective it must be done at regular intervals throughout the year and be accompanied by reinforcement. There are three key areas of training for individuals and corporations necessary to keep business coming in the door and securing your bottom line. All three are needed equally, like the 3 legs of a stool:
Product/Service– Stay up on the latest trends in your industry. Be on the leading edge – not the bleeding edge of technology.
People – Understanding behavior and communication styles provides productive work environments, helps prevent conflict, improves productivity and equips employees to make positive connections with clients.
Productivity – The old adage is true. Marketing costs you money – Sales makes you money. Never cut back on sales training. Financially solid companies have a sales methodology, routinely train that methodology and provide reinforcement.
3. The Buck Stops Here! – Starting at the very top matriculating down to the newest hire, companies that turn it around are comprised of individuals who take personal pride and responsibility for the performance of the company. These individuals posses a ‘can do’ attitude and take personal business ownership in day to day operations.
Regardless of the economic climate it can be the best of times for you and your company. Think back and categorize the elements that made your company great. Accurately analyze your current situation, provide results driven training in the three core areas for productivity, and create a team atmosphere of corporate and individual responsibility for success.
Joe & Dawn Pici are strategic trainers, executive coaches and experts in the niche markets of sales and performance management. Pici & Pici Inc understands that reaching organizational peak performance starts with addressing the needs of the individual as well as company requirements.
For a company or individual, training must lead to increased performance and an optimal return on investment. Contact Pici & Pici – [email protected] or call 407-947-2590