One of the top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America give you Business Success Help
This video is an overview of some of the most important ideas I’ve ever learned about creating and executing a winning strategy for your business.
If you found these ideas of value, I very much hope you will share the video with your network.
Thanks – John
In 23 years serving as a management advisor to companies of every size, all over the world, I have yet to encounter an organization that does not struggle with some form of “communication” challenges. Although this can impact companies from several different angles, there is one communication breakdown that has the most significant impact on the overall success of the business.
In most businesses, the executive team and senior managers are constantly talking about the vision and strategy, it’s part of their meetings, it’s what they lay awake at night thinking about, but typically if you go just one or two layers down in the organization nobody has a clue about the actual meaning of the vision and how they are supposed to implement the strategy. Remember this: without a clearly communicated vision there is no way to achieve alignment across the organization, act strategically, empower fast decision-making or create a high level of accountability.
The key point here is, to effectively communicate the organization’s vision and strategy you must talk about them all the time, using multiple communications channels, at all levels of the organization, delivering a consistent and focused message. I once had the CEO of a company ask me, “When do you know that you have communicated the vision enough?” I replied, “When you get to point that if you have to explain it one more time… you’ll vomit… that’s when the lowest person in your organization just heard the vision for the very first time.”
The answer is simple: communicate, communicate, communicate… and then communicate some more.
As I look back across two decades of working with companies around the world, there are a few key ideas that I think are fundamental to business success, here is one of them:
I have yet to meet a single business leader that does not strongly agree with this idea, however I see a lot of businesses where they do not actually live this idea. Today I want to talk about the growth and development of top talent.
Frankly, I believe this is the single most important investment you can make in your company, because without highly talented people who are steadily getting better and better, you have no chance of making your company better and better. I also write above that there is, “no excuse” because never in the history of humankind has there been more information available, much of it for free, to assist you in delivering world-class training to your people.
Here are just a few of the things that you should be doing:
These are just a few things that I came up with off the top of my head, I’m sure there are several more you could add to this list. But here is my point: if you are not doing all or most of this then you’re not truly serious about helping your people (and your company) to be as successful as possible. A good deal of what I have listed is absolutely free, much of it is very inexpensive, and only a few things require significant financial investment. But I can tell you this, not doing the things on this list is very, very expensive.
If you found value in this blog, I hope you will share it with your network.
*** I wanted to let you know about a very special event I will be participating in on March 12-14 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in the incredibly beautiful town of Banff, Canada. It will be an exclusive retreat for leaders of fast growth businesses who are looking to engage with other leaders in pursuit of higher levels of performance. We have done this event twice in the past and it has been a resounding success. If you’re interested, here is a link to learn more about the program, we would love to have you join us!
I recently had the honor of being asked to do a segment for ITPRO.TV, a video channel aimed specifically at delivering world-class training and certification courses to IT professionals. The topic they asked me to speak on was professional development, especially focused on how to take your career to the next level in 2017. I think there are several good ideas here that apply to anyone who wants to have more success in their career and life.
If you found this video helpful, I hope you will share it with your network. Thanks – John
This is one of the biggest “aha moments” I ever had when learning to be salesperson, which I got from a fantastic book called: Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play by Mahan Khalsa.
Let me unpack this for you…
If you are talking to a potential customer, than they have already given you a buying signal; they are giving you some of their time, which means there is at least some level of interest in your product or service. So you both know what you are there for, a potential sale. The goal then is to make sure that you both get what you want out of the transaction, they get a reasonable price on a product or service that they need and you make a reasonable profit. This is the only possible outcome for successful transaction, the Exact Right Solution.
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the idea, unless both you and the customer get exactly what is right for both of you, you have not made a successful sale.
That means that it is not you against the customer, it is the two of you working together as a team to develop the Exact Right Solution. To me, this takes away the sometimes adversarial relationship between buyer and seller. I remember early in my career that every time I went on a sales call I felt like I was trying to “win the sale.” The truth of the matter is I should have been trying to win the trust of my customer by giving them exactly what they wanted, that also aligned perfectly with what I wanted, so that we could build a strong positive relationship and I could be seen as a partner and trusted advisor who would always do what was in their best interest, as long as it was also in my best interest. The classic Win-Win agreement.
Now that I understand this, sales is so much more fun. I’m not there to “win” anything, I’m there to help us much as I can and work jointly with my customer to develop solutions that makes everybody happy so that we look forward to doing more business together in the future.
To me, that is the way a professional salesperson approaches the sales process.
A friend of mine, Jake Kostan, sent me a question asking: What is your number 1 must read book of 2016 in each category for sales & marketing, business and culture?
That’s really tough question, I read more than 100 business books this year (not all of them were written this year), many of them very good, but if I had to list just one in each one of those categories, here they are…
“The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need” by Anthony Iannarino
**Also in sales, if you have not read these two books, go read them right away**
“SPIN selling” by Neil Rackham
“Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play – transforming the buyer/seller relationship” by Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig
“Marketing: A Love Story – how to matter to your customers” by Bernadette Jiwa
“Extreme Ownership – how US Navy SEALs lead and win” by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin
“It’s My Pleasure – the impact of extraordinary talent and compelling culture” by Dee Ann Turner
I could easily list another two dozen, and this was especially hard because many of my friends wrote excellent books this year, so I put links below to all of my recommendations over 2016.
If you read something that you thought was extremely valuable, please add it to the comments for all the rest of us.
Thanks so much and I hope that 2017 is your best year ever!!! Love, John