Archive for December, 2011
I have been increasing my appearances on Forbes.com this year. Recent articles dealt specifically with how small businesses can make the most of the holiday shopping season:
- Why pushing gift cards in place of actual merchandise has great value.
- How to leverage holiday traffic to set up a better 1Q2012.
Have a wonderful holiday week! Gather the energy and focus for making January a month to remember for your business!
I recently completed a writing assignment for a good client, Bovo-Tighe. Dave Tighe and I worked over a number of weeks to put in print a core piece of his Foundations of Excellence employee development philosophy.
Here is the article link: Pursuit of Truth
His message has a strong connection to all businesses and their marketing efforts, including smaller ones, so I am sharing it here.
In short, You must know as much as possible about everything that affects your business. Examples:
- You cannot assume customers want what you propose to sell.
- Nor can you assume they are happy with the solutions you have provided.
- Plus, you cannot assume that your employees are efficient and always customer-focused.
Now replace “assume” in the above sentences with “hope”. Hope cannot be a business strategy, yet too many people adopt scattershot marketing initiatives and hope that they work. No forethought, testing, tracking, tweaking mid-stream. Just take a vendor’s advice and toss money or time at it (and skimp on the time needed, too!)
To quote from the article, a London-based professor of business named Donald Sull wrote:
“Managers and entrepreneurs walk past lucrative opportunities all the time, and later kick themselves when someone else exploits the strategy they overlooked. Why does this happen? It’s often because of the natural human tendency known to psychologists as confirmation bias: People tend to notice data that confirms their existing attitudes and beliefs, and ignore or discredit information that challenges them.”
As business owners and managers, we must challenge ourselves to accept that:
- We cannot already possible know everything that is going to affect our business over the next 12 months. If we want to “hope for the best” we must still “plan for the worst”, and try to understand what that “best” and “worst” could be.
- We must be wide open to bad news, and adopt a mindset that every bit of news (good or bad) is an opportunity to act in a positive way to achieve our desired outcomes.(To borrow another Bovo-Tighe training regime: E+R=O, which is “Event + Your Response = Outcome.” You cannot control events. You CAN control your response, and therefore the outcomes from the event.)
- We must seek out and reward those people who provide unvarnished truths, especially our employees who interact with customers most often. Teach them to share bad news just as they do good, and give them an “atta boy or girl” when they do.
- We must train our entire organization to have the same “Pursuit of Truth” mindset, especially with regard to customer prospecting and servicing.
The Pursuit of Truth is not just getting rid of hidden agendas and blame-games. It is instilling a relentless desire to know what is really going on both in the workplace and in the marketplace. As we said in the article:
“Cementing this ‘pursuit of truth’ mindset into the corporate culture means that problems and opportunities are willingly shared sideways and upwards, and not left buried to fester, or worse, be discovered and exposed by customers. Companies that pursue truth in every interaction respond better to customer issues, and seek to solve them, learn from them, and share that learning across silos and over cube walls.”
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6726458