Leadership Should Be Asking: “How Do I Improve Results…If I’m Not Willing To Change What I Do?”

By Sid Chadwick

“We’re kicking ass…. in May and June…..now I’ve got to convince a few that we’re not overworked….and we’re fortunate to have this new-found business…...”…..Sr. V.P., Sales & Marketing

INTRODUCTION:

He was relatively new to his organization…….he was still in that “getting to know each other --- honeymoon period.”

His new employer had contracted for “digital surveys”…. for years, with less than spectacular results……low response rates…….few volunteered comments…..and few immediate follow-up opportunities…. for additional business.

That newly hired Sr. V.P., Sales & Marketing --- was pushing for our customized, written Customer Survey Model….he and I went back two decades….and in effect, he’d stuck his neck out to get the approval.

survey listHere’s some of what he received --- in less than 90 days from --- the “Go-ahead”:

  • A Response Rate….over 30%......(with little history of “self-promotion” to current customers).
  • Over 250…..Volunteered comments…..
  • “I.D.” of customers….who believed supplier performance….had deteriorated.
  • “I.D. of customers…..who believed supplier performance….had improved….even markedly improved.
  • Well over 100 requests…..for additional products and services…..
  • Numerous requests for executive management…..to personally visit.
  • Over 24 current customers….who acknowledged this supplier was receiving…. less than 11%......of their available business….!
  • Multiple identified requests…. for more frequent visits and calls….. from Sales Reps and CSR’s…..
  • Multiple acknowledgements from survey respondents….testifying that they believed they did NOT  know their supplier’s capabilities…and….. wanted to know more….!
  • Almost 30 offers of……”Referrals”……..(when following-up….some customers provided …….multiple Referrals…)……!

SUMMARY:

Some organizations in our great industry…..serving certain sectors (e.g., targeted short-run publications, and packaging and labels)……are operating…“flat-out”…!

Many organizations……..….are not.

I continue to see and hear about customers….who are “starved”…. for consistent, caring --- supplier performance…..with integrity…..who do…at least…..what they say they will do………..

Leadership….is the difference”…. in most organizations, including our associations…..and boards --- that oversee our associations.

And….I’m a big believer in “leading from the front”…..by example…..which is partly why I recognize the value of this newly hired…..Sr. V.P. , Sales & Marketing………to his organization………he’s “waking them-up”…..to new opportunities….that have always been waiting to be discovered……….by what he says…..by what he does…. and by what he says he will do………..

“Water that does not move….is always shallow…”……Sami Proverb

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