Monthly Archives: December 2014

Strategic Planning?
Are You Making it Hard on Yourself?

By Talmar Anderson

Have you been working on your strategic plans? So you’ve got your long term and short term goals laid out.  Maybe your deadlines are based on quarterly milestones.  You are excited.  This IS going to be epic.  You have big dreams and new products to launch. You are investing in industry specific education and growing your team.  As you are spinning in your chair from the inspiration coursing through you, you notice the inbox and receipts pile.  “It’s ok” you tell yourself.  I’ll get to the last three months of paperwork later.  Let’s get back to the shiny new stuff.

Hear that?  It’s the sound of another year of making business hard for yourself running to slap you upside the head!

Before you go forward with new ideas (especially if it truly may be the “one” that puts your company over the top) you must KNOW your company.  And I mean, know it inside and out.  Not just “have a pretty good idea”…this saying is almost as bad as “it depends” for pricing models.  (You can read about that stinker HERE).

So, do you know your company? Do you know which product or service brought in the most cash over the last 12 months?  Do you know which product or service was most profitable over the last 12 months?

Do you understand that those two questions are different?  Understanding the answers to even just these 2 questions can help determine;

  • How to budget marketing for future campaigns
  • Which new products or services should be launched first
  • What position to hire for next

And yes, the list can go on.  I think you get this point.  But the real point of this blog post is that if you are not staying current with the “paperwork” in your business, you are creating your own chaos!  That’s right, I’m calling you out.

Bookkeeping must be current to allow for real time profitability analysis and performance reporting. This leads into the metrics that the rest of your data and reporting can be measured against for true understanding of what does or does not work in your company.  Once anything is 3 months behind, that is a WHOLE quarter of metrics, you cannot even consider it in your strategic plans.  If it has been longer….well, you are throwing darts in the dark.  Instead of poking an eye out, you are wasting company money and efforts basing plans on outdated numbers.

That example is not the only metric you need. Do you understand your current clients? (What do they have in common? What exactly are they buying? Why do they buy?).

You need to understand who is buying and who is not to buying to be able to effectively steer and grow your company.  You need to know how your clients are finding you – exactly how they are getting to you!

Strategic planning focuses so much on the possibilities. It creates excitement, hope and motivation.  However, if it is not coming from a place of insight and historical consideration then these plans are not really the strong decisions of a business owner.  Without the understanding of how YOUR business has worked and currently is working, your plans are similar to buying a lottery ticket.  Sure you made plans and took the step to purchase the ticket but you cannot significantly affect your chance of winning beyond there.  Are you effecting change in your business?  Because, you need to KNOW to GROW!

P.S. If you are interested in “Knowing” your business, working with Talmar It Up will help.
Talmar It Up’s Know to Grow program is launching in January.  Send me a quick email if you want to find out more!

Didn’t Close the Sale Yet? Did you ASK for the Business?

By Talmar AndersonDoes this sound familiar?  Prep work for a meeting with or talking to prospects takes a lot of focus and intent. You must take time to consider the benefits and values of your business.  Then you make sure to see and be seen in the right place for your target market.  You will plan to follow up and set the phone call/ proposal/ meeting.  After presenting all the carefully crafted marketing items and answering all of the prospect’s questions did you walk away thinking, “They are going to call for sure…or at least, I think they will call to hire me.”

Did you even ask them to hire you?  Did you ask them to commit to the engagement agreement?  Did you ask them for a date your company could start the project?  Did you confirm the agreed upon pricing structure and how the payment could be handled?

I know it is crazy to be focusing on the sales side of business going in to the business year end season, but I found myself in need of a reminder.  (Ask me the silly story the next time you see me.) Then as I went through with some of my clients, I found they were in need of a reminder too!  Which leads us here today…with you.   Plan for a hugely successful next year but we must still always be closing!

Remember, waiting for your prospect to run out of questions IS NOT a commitment of a sale. You have to actually say words and ASK the question…Are you ready to move forward? Can I sign you up? Should I ring this up? Do I have the sale?  Do you have a need for which you will allow my company to provide the solution?

You can do the assumptive approach. ”Can we start the project this Monday?”  “Do you want to pay by credit card or check?” “Can I have my team member swing by your office for the signed documents and deposit this afternoon?”

But whatever you do, you must do it in THIS moment.  The one right here.  This moment- where you have proved your expertise and built credibility.  This moment- when you have answered the questions that may have been used as objections.  THIS MOMENT- where you are sharing a smile and conversation.  It is possible that you will not get the close in this momentbut not asking GUARANTEES you leave without a new client.

Part of your prep work for any and all prospect work must include when and how you will be asking for their business.

P.S.  If this sounds like something you would like to work more on for your business growth, let’s work together. I’d love it if you were a client.

 Check out How you can start working with Talmar NOW!