Back To Basics? No, Ever Further Back!

A colleague of mine was talking to one of the largest Canadian success stories of the last 20 years recently.

They’ve had some turbulent times, but are still a significant player.

He asked me for some advice as he prepared for his phone call with some high-level executives and I gave him much of the advice I’ve written about in these Tidbits.

I did this without having any discussion with their team about current goals or internal challenges – merely making educated guesses based on what I’d read in the press, as well as what I’d seen in similar companies.

The recommendations I gave him for lines of inquiry won’t be surprising to any reader – Checking in on the status of things like a clearly defined sales process, or how confident they were that they had a precise map of the customer experience from start to finish.

I told him to ask if they assumed they were earning the sales/loyalty of their customers on a day-to-day basis or if they thought something like customer loyalty was owed.

He asked them about management reporting on what their people were doing every day.

He asked them if they could tell him, unequivocally, the last time each of their current clients was spoken to and what the context of those conversations was.

He talked about customer service, managing the expectations gap, and systematically improving on their shortcomings.

They were stumped and equally excited.

When I suggest these types of things to smaller companies, I often suspect these are areas they’ll need my help to improve in, but the big dogs? The billion dollar plus companies?!? Surely they’ve got these things sorted, right? I used to have those assumptions too.

But I’m often wrong.

He said his line of questioning had them stumbling for words, making excuses with each other, or claiming many of the things he was suggesting were things they “knew they should be doing and were planning on tackling.”

The beauty of the Tuesday Tidbits is I’m often talking about the simple things that companies of all types and sizes can do that will have a dramatic impact on results.

Things like:

Sales Processes

The Pick-3 Process

The 90-45 Rule

The Customer Loyalty Loop

The Evergreen Philosophy

Sales Management

Exception Reporting

Scriptbooking/Role-Playing/etc.

Good…Not Great…And Why Being Consistently Good is Better than Being Haphazardly Great

…a few recurring themes to name a few!

I’m working on these themes (and many more) with clients on a daily basis. My clients include small-town local restaurants to world-class performers and championship teams. Everyone can improve, and sometimes it’s the little things that matter most.

Here’s the takeaway that I think is relevant for everybody reading this right now:

There are a lot of things that you know you should be doing but haven’t got around to yet. Some of those things might be “nice to have”…

But like the Canadian giant, my colleague was talking to, some of those things might be fundamental to your continued survival in an ever more competitive landscape.

If you think that a sales process, basic sales management skills from senior leadership, and a consistent line of communication with your top clients are “nice to have” and not critical, then don’t be surprised if you’re unable to survive the next storm.

Your Challenge For This Week: Email me (I keep all emails in complete confidence) and let me know what’s the most glaring, “We should be doing this, but we’re not!” thing within your company.

Time permitting, I’ll respond and let you know the 1-2 steps that you need to take that can get that program on track so that it sticks.

Best,
Noah