When your car’s tires have an alignment issue, it is not only difficult to stay on course but it wears your tires without noticing. The same is true for your company. If everyone isn’t aligned to the same goals with the same strategy — if someone is pulling a little bit more to the right or to the left—you won’t stay on course and you will end up wasting a lot of resources.
When was the last time you received a call from a supplier when nothing was wrong?
Conversely: When was the last time you called a customer to show that you care about them?
Here are 5 key takeaways from Alex Goldfayn’s latest book: “5-Minute Selling”.
“My company has lots of potential, but I just feel my employees are not engaged. If I don’t push, nothing seems to happen. I’m working night and day and we’re still missing 40% of our targets. I once dreamed of being a firefighter, I guess that dream has come true. All I do is put out fires, I have no time to focus on my business.”
“Xavier, I will be leaving the company by the end of next month.” With these words the best member of my team told me many years ago that she was leaving. She was extremely talented, had great potential, and was a cornerstone of my succession plan.
“But why?” I pleaded.
“Cash is key, and Elvis is the King!” kept asserting my trainer at this intensive 2-week long management consulting training 20+ years ago in the cold Boston winter. This was a twist on the famous “cash is king” motto – trying to convey to us non-Americans how much Elvis meant to him while emphasizing his important cash message.
With times as they are, cash seems to have taken back its throne for many small and mid-sized businesses.
Successful businesses know exactly who their target customers are. They strive to cater to specific and strategic customer needs. They focus on the most important customers to the business, and sometimes even refocus on a more lucrative target market. But it’s not uncommon for even successful businesses to become unfocused as they seek to grow by catering to a broadening spread of customer demands. And even with a conscious refocusing there are pitfalls; changing target customer isn’t easy and it doesn’t always go to plan.
Each time the New Year rolls around and I sit down to do my annual resolutions, I reflect back to a lesson taught me by a remarkable teacher. In my mid-20s, I took a course on creativity and innovation from Rochelle Myers and Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and I kept in touch with them after I graduated.