Why do seemingly great marketing plans fail to yield the desired results?
Well, one reason: Such plans don’t turn the ideas into reality because they’re not action-oriented. What counts is the scheduled specific footwork, and then tracking the results.
There’s a second reason, quality of execution, but more on that later.
Four action-oriented keys to success
Action key No. 1: Develop specific action items for each key piece of your plan with specific target dates to take action. In other words, if 12 big customers will largely solve your revenue issues, set a goal for each monthly interval. For example, write: “We will get one major client each month.”
Action key No. 2: List specific footwork to achieve your monthly goal of one new client. For example, write: “To get a major new client each month, we’ll have to look for new opportunities to network with our existing Centers of Influence and to create new Centers of Influence.”
If you belong to your local chamber of commerce or Rotary Club, ask your friendly chamber peers or Rotarians for two referrals: “What are the names of two people with your qualities who might need our product?” Then, while dropping the name of your friend, make the contact.
Consider other ways to enlarge your prospect list, and write something like this: “We will also get a list of business leads via…”
Action key No. 3: Benchmark your action items that can lead to the desired results. For example, write: “From our list of prospects, we will meet with three new prospects each week.”
It’s a numbers game, but rest assured referrals are usually the strongest leads – especially, if you use the right networking strategies.
So don’t worry about the results. Focus on taking steps. The results will take care of themselves.
Action key No. 4: Define your list of specific actions to meet your targets. For example, write: “I will telephone or visit 15 prospects a day asking for an appointment.”
Focus on making the contacts, but again, don’t worry about which doors will open. It might be a lost art, but here’s how and why to use cold-calling for higher sales. Here are eight tips for cold calling by e-mail and telephone.
Quality of execution
Despite all the hype about the benefits of social media, face time works best. If you have good branding, elevator pitch, and use the right sales steps, you will be successful.
Branding: Here’s a checklist to build your brand on a budget.
Elevator pitch: Here are the top 11 tips for a great elevator pitch.
Sales Steps: Here are the seven steps to higher sales.
You might also want to review the eight best practices in small business marketing.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are two advertising resource links:
- What are the Secrets for Success from Advertising?
- Checklist for Branding, Selling Your Biz as Green
“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Profits suffer because human-resources training is perennially a victim in economic downturns. Along with marketing and layoffs, training is one important area where a lot of companies mistakenly cut back. Employees should be treated as assets.
One of the reasons given for training cutbacks, in my experience, is that prospective clients fear a poor return on their investment. CEOs object to the training because they want to profit from their investments. Ironically, a strong training program synergizes well with marketing to increase profits.
Most often in HR training, companies concentrate on three areas:
- Training classes and workshops
- Follow Up
Unfortunately, managers mistakenly spend too little time on experiential learning and revisiting training material. That means their employees forget most of what they learn, and the training doesn’t yield a return on investment. Without the anticipated ROI, the training becomes a waste of time and money — business performance isn’t maximized.
Further, depending on the subject, I’d suggest one-hour classes once or twice a week for four to six weeks. Employees need time to hear, digest and implement the information. And time needs to be allotted to check to see if the employees are absorbing and implementing the training material.
For the strongest-possible ROI, I start by training the managers so they’re in synch with their workers and they can later reinforce the training material with their employees. This helps the ROI.
In the second or third session, most courses include a module inviting students to conduct a confidential, personal self-assessment. That’s for any subject, such as training in time management, teamwork, management, or leadership skills.
The benefits are astounding. Employees gain more confidence because they learn about their own strengths and talents. For the majority, each person’s self esteem increases 30 percent. This also lessens the need for follow-up because employees are more self-motivated and productive.
When the organization’s employees have stronger self esteem, there is a direct correlation with the bottom line. An excellent training program will enhance the marketing investment.
Incidentally, a few employees – about 10 percent –resist conducting their self assessments – even when it’s confidential. Unfortunately, they ultimately need help from the organization’s employee assistance program. Commonly, alcoholism or drug addiction is a factor.
Another obstacle to training success: Tepid support from senior management.
So remember, if you use these measures, your training programs will yield strong results.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional HR resources
- Trends in Human Resources Management – Wharton Study
- Power Your Brand with Employee Empowerment
- 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations
“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”
-Mark Van Doren
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.