By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.
“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.” ……………..Winston Churchill
A call from a respected speaker and consultant yesterday --- allowed me to hear from her that ---- from academics she had recently visited at a well-known Arizona University --- only about one in about one hundred companies measure, report, track, for --- ‘Continuous Improvement’ --- strategic performance issues.
I agreed with her report.
Yet…. …….we have:
1. A client, who after reviewing our recommendation with their “product margins”, significantly raised their “digital commissions” --- to incentivize Sales Reps to pursue development of ”Programs”, and major digital customers. Why? Because the margins and market revenue growth of that product group --- practically scream --- “New Opportunities” --- in digital sales.
2. Four clients --- whose Pressrooms have proven that there is significant additional margin to be captured --- are attending their second and fourth Pressroom Performance Improvement Workshop. All four companies understand that they are “sitting, literally, on a gold mine” of opportunity --- for gaining additional, targeted customers, and revenues. Two of the four are in the process of buying competitors whose pressrooms are “traditional” in their processes, thinking, and equipment. (I think you recognize what I’m writing --- though it may be painful.) Three of those four companies are attending our next Pressroom Performance Improvement Workshop --- in two weeks --- for the second and fourth times --- recognizing that “Pressroom Continuous Improvement” is real, and significant.
3. Multiple clients --- have developed “Die-Cut Catalogs” and “Targeted Packaging Programs” – fueling their financial statements with additional value-added revenues, and current and prospective customers with a “Buying Program” that intellectually feeds --- creative agencies, corporate marketing departments, and graphic designers.
4. Multiple clients whose courage --- allowed us conduct customized Major Customer Surveys --- that revealed multiple seven figures of additional business opportunities --- at current customers. (Was there a key to their success? Yes --- they had to find the courage to follow-up on product, service, and program opportunities --- their current customers were willing to tell them about --- in writing.)
5. Several clients have developed major Buyer Education Programs --- as part of their “market differentiation”. Customers --- and Prospects --- look forward to attending, and are grateful to receive an invitation --- to listen to “Experts” on “Branding”, “Direct Marketing”, “Social Media”, “Cross-Media Programs”, “Successful Fundraising”, and the “Sustaining Value of Print --- over all other media”.
6. Several long-term clients conduct Sales Education Meetings --- at least monthly. By promptly addressing issues like, (a) where do we need work in our plant, (b) what prospects called-in this past week, (c) what new technical capability did our production staff discover this past week, (d) what major opportunities did we develop this past two to three weeks, and (e) what competitor is in trouble at this time, and what customers do we share with them --- allows for progress and collaboration --- within their entire company.
7. Multiple clients are now developing Inside Sales Teams. One client has tripled their revenues --- in eight years, and quadrupled their profitability --- with no outside Sales Reps. (They are a web house --- believe it, or not --- for all the web plants that have closed.) They use multiple Research Resources, and relentlessly follow-up their target prospects. They “know” where their “sweet spot” is. Yet, they also know they have multiple opportunities and processes --- to yet capture, and improve.
The client who said recently, “I need for you to hold me accountable” --- is a decent, hard working company president. His challenges may ring familiar:
“I have so much coming at me that I become easily distracted, and lose my focus. At the end of my day I may feel good about the fires I put-out, but my original objectives for that day, and even that week --- seem to get lost, repeatedly……”
Opportunities to grow a company’s financial performance --- are all around us. But keeping our focus, is strategic, and critical --- as an organizational priority, and not just for the president.
If you have a plan, who did you share it with --- to assist, and contribute?
That’s why we frequently work to have the president delegate several of his frequent activities and duties --- to key, competent personnel.
You do receive frequent, relevant advice and counsel--- from your local associations and suppliers, don’t you….?
“The World is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper” ……………....Bertrand Russell