Last week, I was in West Palm Beach.
It's one of four trips I take every year to update my skill sets with a few days of workshops, reconnect with my peers, and keep growing so that I can continue to offer higher value to my clients.
Without these trips, there's no way I'd be able to do the kind of work that fills my days today.
There's no way I'd be able to help my clients find the hidden value within their businesses, or help them create consistent, world-class customer experiences.
It's an investment of both time, energy, and money, but it's an essential requirement for growth.
I hear from a lot of Tuesday Tidbit readers that they know they need to make changes.
They know they need better customer service.
They know they need better sales and marketing processes.
They know that they need to change their management culture to a more data-driven approach, without sacrificing the humanity of their staff.
And yet, time after time, I hear them tell me that they'll do it in six months, once things 'Get back to normal' or the 'busy season slows down,' or they'll 'finish some long overdo reorg work first!'
Every time, I know that they're not going to change in six months, and probably not in six years.
And that's because there is no normal.
There are only priorities.
I know with annual events, the timing is never right. Life is just generally busy, or I’m knee deep in project work, or we’re moving in a couple of weeks. It would be easy to put these things off as someday, maybe, later type-of-events.
But to what end?
Too many companies only make sales management and customer service priorities after they have a few losing years (and those have been hard to come by in the bull market of the last ten years).
Of course, the reality is that by the time the market tells you that you need to change, it's often too late. You've lost too many critical accounts because your sales team wasn't putting in the effort to keep them. You've lost too much reputation capital because you allowed inconsistent customer experiences.
There are very few perfectly run companies in the world, and most leaders are self-aware enough to recognize the areas they need to fix.
The gap comes between knowing at an intellectual level that you should be doing better in some areas, and prioritizing it as a key driver of your business.
There are only so many drivers of sustainable profits in any business.
For the most part, these come down to:
3. Customer Loyalty
4. Customer Acquisition
In other words:
Your advantage has to be some combination of the product you offer,
Your ability to help your clients get the most out of that product.
Or, the propensity for your customers to continue doing business with you.
And your ability to get new customers.
If you're not continually investing in these areas, then you're gambling that your competitors won't be growing or evolving in these areas either. And that's a losing game.
Here's my challenge to you this week:
Read (or re-read) these tidbits, and then ask yourself whether or not you need to be improving those areas in your company.
If you do, then don't put it off.
Don't wait until things get back to normal.
Don't pray that your competitors will continue to mess up.
Instead, give me a call, or email me, and see how we can help you make those areas the strongest pillars of your business.
The timing is never right…Except right now.