Scary thought, as I write this in August we are on the downhill slide to the end of the calendar year, and there are 142 days until Christmas.
We are now seven plus months down and 200 plus days are behind us. Are you on track with the business goals set back at the beginning of the year? Have you got 67 out of those 100 new customers you were after? If your goal was to deliver 250 presentations, have you completed 168?
This is the perfect time to take stock, reflect back on the first half of the year and decide what you need to do to make the remainder of 2017 a success.
What I am going to suggest may take a couple of hours, for some maybe a day or two, but whatever your circumstance it will be time well spent. You’ll need no interruptions, an old fashioned pad and pen or whiteboard.
Do these 3 things:
- Review your progress against your goals.
- Use the ‘24 hour reset’.
- Plan, set up and commit to a 90-day ‘sales sprint’.
FIRST, LOOK BACK AND REVIEW.
To make this part of the year better than the first you need to look back over the past seven months and identify any useful lessons – whether good, bad or ugly – and figure how to apply them from this point on.
You can’t change anything about any of them because they’ve happened. But it’s not too late to learn from them in order to positively affect the future. The trouble is that only a very few folk actually have an identified method of measuring their efforts and their results.
You need to know where your business stands: how many enquiries, how many new customers, retained clients, the average customer value, sales by product/service and more besides.
Here’s my checklist for a second half review:
- What worked?
- What did not work?
- Why in both cases?
- Can it be repeated? (The good!)
- Can it be avoided? (The bad and the ugly!)
- Do I have a comprehensive list of the metrics I need to check to run my business?
- Is my perfect customer profile still relevant and if so am I chasing them? To be blunt; do I know their pain points and how my business can relieve it for them.
- Am I delivering my solution/service/product in a way that not only removes or lessens their pain but in a way that is distinctive and stands out from my competition?
- Is my pricing right for sales and for profit?
- What am I doing to get more clients? Is it working?
- What am I doing to keep my customers?
- Is there anything my staff or I refuse to do that needs to change?
Smart, successful businesses know their progress towards achieving their goals because they measure it.
SECOND, USE THE ‘24 HOUR RESET’ APPROACH.
The ‘24 hour reset’ is a process where if you win you celebrate. If you lose you gnash your teeth. But in either case, you only allow yourself to do so for 24 hours.
So celebrate or rue the results of your review. But for only a day. Then get back into it. Time is short and this way you won’t waste any of it.
THIRD, CREATE AND EXECUTE YOUR 90-DAY ‘SALES SPRINT’.
I am a great believer in dividing the year up into four 90-day locks with each one representing a major goal that will improve my business results. But time is short, and the chances are that if the earlier part of the year was good or bad, you will want to finish strong in terms of sales.
So plan a 90-day ‘sales sprint’. Work out a sales target, and establish how many of your most popular products/services you need to sell to achieve it. Put together a monthly plan with weekly tasks to move that amount of product or get that many services taken up. It might be seven presentations a week, or five calls a day. It might be using a sales triggering email sequence or running a quick and dirty webinar. It doesn’t matter what.
What matters is that you plan and aim to execute by mid-September and run until mid-December and so, finish the year strong. The time will pass anyway.
That way you’ll still have a week or so for the Christmas shopping…