Listen to the audio version of today’s Tuesday Tidbit.
Before we get down to it, I have three small things to share with
As mentioned last week, the Tuesday Tidbit is now available in audio format every week. You can subscribe to the Tidbits HERE. Today’s recording will be available later today. If you subscribe, it will automatically show up on your phone every week. Just another great way to enjoy the tidbits. Many of you also requested a PDF digest of the tidbits. We’ll be doing that monthly. The first edition is available HERE.
I’ve also launched a new podcast with Shawn Veltman, a colleague on a number of projects and my co-author for our upcoming book, Dealing with Difficult Customers (which you can pre-order for under $10 bucks.) Shawn and I have launched The Evergreen Show where we provide, proven, pragmatic and actionable business growth insights in 15 minutes or less. Quite often we’re taking a tidbit topic and having a deeper, more meaningful discussion about it. Complete with new challenges to drive your growth. You can subscribe to that HERE.
On to today’s Tidbit.
Back in 2015, I spoke at both SXSW in Austin, Texas and Hubspot’s Inbound Conference in Boston. Both of these events are the epitome of sexy in the world of sales and marketing conferences. There was so much glitz and glamor around the elusive hunt for the new customer that at both events I prefaced my talk that I would be the Canadian guy talking about boring topics like customer retention, and how to nurture and develop more profitable relationships with existing customers.
The kicker, I told them, was that if they could forget about their excitement about cool new technique X for the length of my talk, it would drive more revenue straight into their pockets than all the rest of the techniques combined.
What I said at Inbound is that success is rarely sexy. Here’s what I mean by that. I’ve been thinking about a few client projects as of late where we’ve started to see great results, quickly. In a few examples, we’ve gone from a 0-60MPH in very short time frames. Now I said it’s rarely sexy, but these types of results are incredibly sexy. But because of all of the excitement and hoopla surrounding new results, insights, or opportunities, there’s often a desire for more! Everyone’s excited, and they want to feed the beast. They start to get new ideas and want to move at breakneck speeds to add more complexity–whether it’s new features, new processes, and procedures, or new tools, etc.
The problem with adding too much too fast is we lose focus on what got us all hot and sweaty in the first place. To me, the answer is simple. Do one thing. That’s it. Get the one thing right and ONLY add the next when people are doing the one thing without beating them over the head. It’s often the case that we have to change a culture, or shift the inertia, or replace bad behaviors with good ones. Whatever the case may be, if we do too much too fast, we’re likely to lose steam on everything. As always, I like to provide examples of how this might play out across different industries, or areas of the business.
In sales for example, if your team isn’t using a CRM or some system to track their activity so that you have visibility into how they’re interacting with clients, then put something into place immediately. Make it clear that this is non-optional. Here’s the hard part – once everybody is using it consistently, wait. Wait at least a month to get a baseline of data before you make any new decisions or engage in any new sales initiatives.
In retail, for example, if you haven’t started capturing contact information for every client, then ensure that all of your staff is trained how to do this and that they do it. After you have a month’s worth of data, start comparing the contact capture rates for everybody in the company, and have some hard conversations with anybody who is significantly underperforming.
As it relates to service, consider the importance of role-play training in ensuring your people are ready for anything. If you haven’t added role-plays of the most common scenarios to your weekly training activities (or if you don’t have weekly training activities yet), then start!
Once you’ve started, just follow through with this one thing. See how well it does.
We’re conditioned to want more, and we want it now. But there’s great value in taking your time. A good rule of thumb is that you can introduce something new when the majority of people in your organization have adopted the change and continue to do it even when you’re not watching.
Final note–You’re going to have great ideas that you want to do immediately. We’re not saying to stifle these or forget about them. Keep that excitement, keep that enthusiasm, and keep those ideas! Write them down, revisit them weekly or monthly, and determine what the right next move is when you’re ready to move.
Your Challenge For This Week: Send me an email and let me know the ONE THING you’re focused on getting right before adding more. Then, a month from now, send me another email and let me know how you’ve done in implementing it!
I called this email ‘Success isn’t sexy.’ The longer version of that would be ‘Doing what it takes to succeed, day in and day out isn’t sexy. But the results sure are!’