Now that you've followed through with Passionate Pleas I and II, it's time to get back to the basics.
And I'm talking about way back to the basics ... the true basics: your core and your customers. If these two aren't crystallized and maximized, nothing else matters right now.
"Core & Customers"
With the work done in Passionate Pleas I and II, we now go forward from here. All of the energy in your organization must be focused on "Core & Customers." Let's take them one at a time.
Your core is the combination of three things: core values (who you are), core focus (your sweet spot), and core target (your number one goal). For a refresher, read pages 34 through 54 in Traction. Most companies will simply go through the motions in defining these absolute musts-which can be worse than worthless.
These times require you to be completely passionate about what you do and, in addition, that you fill a need in the world.
When I say "core," I'm urging you to really ask yourself this: Are your core values, focus, and target right? If so, you must answer "yes" to the following two questions.
1. Am I still passionate about my core?
2. Is there still a need for it in the world?
If either are a "no," then you must stop kidding yourself and going through the motions. You must go back to the drawing board. Either re-read pages 34 through 54 or e-mail me right now.
If your answers are "yes" and "yes," then go forward and focus on "Customers" with every ounce of energy you and your organization have, which is the second part of this Passionate Plea.
If your answers are "yes" and "yes," you now must align all your people and processes around getting, keeping, and growing customers. It's time to bring back the novelty and thrill of getting to know your customers and providing value to them. Think about your energy level when you started the business. You must get back to knowing your customers' wants, needs, fears, obstacles, barriers, and opportunities, and to helping make their lives better. What you are worth is in direct proportion to the value you provide them-the need, desire, or want you fill for them.
With that said, I prescribe four disciplines regarding customers.
- Define the demographic, geographic, and psychographic qualities of your ideal customer (i.e., your target market; read pages 62 through 65 of Traction for a refresher) and focus on them.
- Get everyone in your organization clear on your core, and then get them focused on getting, keeping and growing customers.
- Make sure your sales efforts are laser-focused and that this is the organization's number one priority. Set a goal and track activity every week (download the Sales Department Checkup). One client is literally spending an intense, exhausting full day every week focusing on nothing but sales and strategizing-the pipeline, growing and retaining existing customers, clear actions, etc. And it's working. This client is growing (11% over last year) and has had its most profitable quarter in the last four years.
- Get out and talk to as many target market prospects and customers as will talk to you. Learn and understand their fears, ideas, opportunities, and worries (as described in Passionate Plea II).
So there it is: "Core & Customers." I ask that you become obsessed with these two things.
Please forward this message to anyone that you feel will benefit by it.