Last September, a client asked me, “Tom, at the beginning of January, can you give me some resolutions for the upcoming year? I want to start 2019 off with a bang!”
After thinking about it for a second, I asked him, “Why does everyone wait until the beginning of the year to write their New Year’s Resolutions? Let’s do it now!”
As we talked through the resolutions, I realized just how relevant they are for all of my clients. And since “Resolution Season” is in full swing, it seems like the perfect time to share them with you.
Here are the top 5 things you should do right now to kick off 2019:
#1 — Stop Talking About Price
Whenever I visit a client’s office, I constantly hear chatter about “price”. I hear it from sales. I hear it from marketing. I hear it from management and ownership.
Price, price, price.
So what’s the big deal?
People spend so much time talking about their prices but rarely do they use words like “value” or “investment”. They’re so focused on “price” in their terms and NOT in their customers’ terms.
Find a way to stop talking about your prices and start asking your customers what they want. Then find a way to meet their needs and provide them with real value. This makes your company, services, and products a true investment — not a price-based commodity.
#2 — Eliminate a Customer Segment
Is there a customer segment (or a particular customer) you could do without?
When I asked my client this in September, he groaned, “Yeah…” and went silent. He knew the answer, but he wanted me to pull it out of him.
If you’re anything like him — or 95% of my clients — you have a customer segment that looks something like this: They only represent 10% of your revenue and 2% of your gross profit, but they take up 50% of your time.
This should be a no-brainer. Cut them off and get out of that business. You don’t need it!
It’s nothing more than a distraction that’s keeping you from doing the important things you need to focus on to grow your AV business.
#3 — Ask for Video Testimonials
The video testimonial is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, but most of us are afraid to ask our clients for them.
The truth is, you’re an AV company. You have all the capabilities of creating a simple but sleek video right in your office. And, you have good, loyal clients who are more than happy to talk about their own businesses.
They’re never afraid to ask you for something, so don’t be afraid to ask them for a quick favor.
Here’s what to do:
Get on the phone today, call one of your best clients, and invite them to your office for lunch. Then, before lunch, simply say…
“If you don’t mind, I’d love to get a video testimonial from you. Can my marketing person ask you a couple questions? You don’t have to say anything you don’t want. And after it’s finished, I’ll let you watch it and you can let me know whether or not we can use it on our website.”
No one will turn you down. In fact, they’ll be honored you asked.
#4 — Redefine Busy
We all love to talk about how busy we are. For some reason, being “busy” gives us a feeling of importance.
But it also creates a problem.
In your AV business, when you and your employees constantly discuss how busy you are with each other, it actually prevents work from getting done.
Sales teams shut down because the operations team is “so busy”.
Marketing teams stop asking owners for anything because they’re always “so busy”.
When everyone’s busy, they have an excuse to NOT do anything. And to be perfectly honest, we know we have plenty of time for the important tasks in our businesses, no matter how “busy” we think we are.
So, instead of complaining about how busy you and your team are, use that time to circle the wagons and coordinate to get more stuff done.
#5 — Eliminate Negative Behaviors
Your company has negative attitudes and behaviors. Don’t worry, every other company does too.
There are certain employees who consistently exhibit negative attitudes, and as owners and managers, we often let them get away with it. Other employees in your company see it happening and are affected by it. You have to learn how to shut it down.
To put an end to the negativity, you don’t need to walk around with a baseball bat ready to swing at anyone who’s having a rough day.
But, don’t be afraid to pull someone aside and in a safe, respectful way and say something like…
“I heard what you were trying to communicate in the meeting, but I don’t believe you responded the right way. If you’re not happy with the way things are going, feel free to talk to me about it in an appropriate setting. That was a negative behavior, and negativity can bring our whole team down. Can you find a way to replace it with something more positive so we can find a way to move forward for the good of the company?”
Most people will feel a little bit embarrassed, but they’ll be kind of thankful that you called them out. And almost every one of them will change their behavior. These employees — and all their colleagues — are simply waiting for you to address the issue in a healthy way.
I know this can often be an awkward conversation, but you didn’t grow a successful business without having occasional uncomfortable moments. You can do this, and everyone will thank you for it.
I’m sure you can think of many more resolutions you want to strive for this year… but start with five right now.
- Stop Talking About Price
- Eliminate a Customer Segment
- Ask for Video Testimonials
- Redefine Busy
- Eliminate Negative Behaviors