Thanks so much for all the positive feedback on the first four posts in this series on great business sayings… I appreciate all of the comments and ‘likes.’
Here’s a quick recap of the first four great sayings:
- “Activity breeds results.”
- “All things being equal… people do business with people they like. All things NOT being equal, people STILL do business with people they like.”
- “Sales prospects don’t care about what you can do… they care about what you can do FOR THEM.”
- “What gets measured gets done.”
Our fifth – and final – saying is…
Hope is not strategy.
True story… several weeks ago, I started a conversation in a LinkedIn group on the value of having a sales team. A seasoned market research executive responded by saying (and I’m paraphrasing)… “Why do we need salespeople? Shouldn’t we just do some marketing and hope the phone will ring?”
We can debate the value of sales teams all day long, but “hoping” the phone will ring is relying on someone else for your success. I’m not sure that’s a position any of us want to be in.
We hope the phone will ring.
We hope our clients will give us referrals.
We hope our existing clients keep coming back.
We hope business will increase by 15% this year.
We hope there’s not another recession like 2008-2009.
Hope is reactive. Hope requires luck. Hope scares the hell outta me!
Instead of relying on others… take charge of the growth of your business. And that means getting out in front of it and doing some work:
- Do some critical thinking about your business… what you do, who you sell to, your staff, the industries you serve, your position in the marketplace, differentiation vs. your competitors, your vision for the firm and so on. Use this to form the foundation for everything that follows.
- Create a marketing & sales plan; it doesn’t have to be elaborate – but make sure you spend a little time working on each of the following: your go-to-market strategies, building awareness, generating & nurturing sales leads, creating first-time clients and ensuring repeat clients. For more information, read about the Marketing & Sales Pyramid™.
- Execute according to the plan. Planning is great… but it has NO VALUE if you don’t execute. Do what your plan says when it says you should do it. Allocate people and the dollars to make it happen. And the biggest key to execution success is doing all of the little things on a regular and consistent basis. Successful execution is about commitment.
- Measure what you do. Measure the big things (# bids, pipeline activity, revenue, etc.) and the little things, too (# LinkedIn connections, email click-thrus, website visitors, etc.). If you’re not measuring, you’re just guessin’. Use the findings to determine what’s working and what’s not. Become diligent about this and you’re on your way to building a process of continual improvement. You run the financial side of your business with things like income statements and balance sheets… marketing & sales require that same kind of discipline.
Bottom line: Stop relying on others for your success. Stop sitting on your hands and hoping good things will happen. Take charge of the growth of your business… and remember these three steps to get you started… Think / Plan / Act.
Not sure what to do next? Reach out to us… we’ll be happy to talk with you about it.