Setting Sales Targets and Objectives

Too often people scoff at the idea of sales targets. They claim that it makes no difference whether they have a target or not. This is no way to run a business.

Every business owner, irrespective of the business you have, needs targets. You probably need targets in different areas of this business like Sales, Wage Costs, Operating Costs, Energy Usage, Wastage etc.

They do not take long to set in place and they can be invaluable in the following areas:

  1. They enable focused conversations to be held with the team
  2. The facilitate discussion on improvement and change
  3. The enable standards to be raised because they give you a reason to improve standards
  4. They enable your business to grow.
  5. They will put more money in your pocket
  6. They can put more money in your team member’s pockets

There are numerous ways to set targets as follows:

  1. Decide what turnover and profit that your business will have in the year, establish any seasonality that you may have in the business and then break down the target into weekly and monthly numbers. This exercise on its own is very worth while because it will get you to ask:
    1. Do I have the resources that I need to achieve this
    2. Do I have the skills required to achieve this
    3. What specifically do I need to change in order to achieve this.
  2. Share the Targets with the team and assign any targets to them specifically
  3. Design a solid reporting system visible to all in the business – how are you doing on a weekly and monthly basis. This is important and you need someone who will do this work diligently on a weekly basis.
  4. Have a weekly/monthly reporting system that will enable people to be held accountable, that will enable corrective actions to be take, to learn lessons and take different actions.

If you need help setting targets and improving communication with the team – get in touch – 087 222 0720

 

Why goal setting on its own does not work…

Having worked with hundreds of business owners over the past 15 years, you start to see patterns emerge. Patterns connected to success, achievement, struggles & failure.

We work with clients on creating plans for their business, setting goals and objectives. We work with them on ensuring that their teams also have goals and objectives.

We then help them implement strategies that should deliver on these goals and objectives, testing and measuring as we go.

Many are very successful but some fail to get off the ground at all. And we wonder why and look for a pattern.

The most common pattern that I see emerging is that the people who succeed place a greater meaning on the success, it means something to them, they can visualise it and see it. For the less successful ones, the goals and objectives are set because that’s what they are supposed to do.

Don’t get me wrong – they do want to achieve but they have not connected what that really means to them and what it will help them achieve.

People blame lack of discipline for not achieving their goals.

Its more likely “not having a big enough reason to achieve”

When you are planning your 2017, make sure that every goal is accompanied by a big enough reason for you, that will mean something for for you and your family.

So, dont give up on the plan, the goals or the objective – spend more time establishing the reason why you want it in the first place.

If you need any help – call me.

 

 

Who is responsible for sales in your company?

Every business relies on sales to survive. Whether your business depends on existing customers or you are out looking for new ones, sales are the lifeblood of any business. And while there may not be the same fanfare when an existing customer buy some more, they are equally important.

The challenge in many small businesses is that there is not enough focus on sales:

  1. There is no one responsible for driving sales at the right margin
  2. There is little or no measurement on sales activity
  3. There is no sales plan for the business
  4. There is an over – reliance on existing customers for sales
  5. There is a raft of negative beliefs about sales amongst the entire team.

The vast majority of businesses deliver a product or service which enhances the lives of their customers, either they solve a problem for the customer, they make their lives easier, they fulfill a need or want.

So why the lack of focus?

  1. Is it lack of knowledge?
  2. Is it lack of experience?
  3. Is it a belief that we should not have to sell and that the customers should just buy from us because we are here?

As an ActionCOACH, we spend time helping clients to improve their sales process, to help them focus on driving sales (profitable ones) and to ensure that they know why they are getting the results that they are getting.

If you would like to analyse your sales process, please contact me today on 087 222 0720

 

Find a way or make an excuse? your choice…

Very often I speak to clients who tell me that they want to grow the business, who understand why they might not have grown over Who-Wants-Changethe past few years, who understand what they need to do to make a change… But do nothing.

And I wonder if they really do want to grow and increase profits in the business. They assure me that they do.

So why this conundrum?

There are a number of reasons why people stay where they are as follows:

1. Fear: Over the past number of years, the era of AUSTERITY has really taken hold and many business owners are fearful of venturing out to new territories, grabbing opportunities that may present themselves or looking for better ways of running their business. What they have may be working, it may be providing them with a good living, and because of all the external factors that they have no control over, they are hesitant to rock the boat. Very understandable.

2. Lack of Know How: The environment is changing, the media is changing, people’s buying habits are changing and there is less loyalty. Coupled with that, the rate of change is increasing and it can be difficult to stay abreast of developments. Doing no learning is not an option. People are missing out on easy revenue and easy access to new customers by not educating themselves.

3. Too Busy: Again, the AUSTERITY environment meant that many businesses had to cut back on staff numbers which meant that many tasks that would have been done, were now being done by the business owner, sometimes taking much longer, had they been done by a more suitable and qualified person. Even as businesses grow, there is a reluctance to employ and therefore the owner is too busy concentrating on things that ideally should be delegated.

4. No Goals or Objectives: Without some goals and objectives for the business, where can it really get to? We all need some focus in our lives and this is what goals and objectives can do for your business. Imagine having a team that knew exactly what they needed to be doing every day and week. Imagine if you personally have a clear vision of what your business needed to look like in 1 year and imagine then if you knew they steps that you needed to take to achieve this. Would you be more confident taking the first step?

Give yourself a chance. Call me on 087 222 0720 if you need some help, guidance or inspiration.

HELP! I own the business but I’m poor at managing people

Recently, I met a frustrated business owner who felt that her business would be so much more successful if she was not in charge.

She cried “I could not work for me, I’m a perfectionist, I’m never happy with anyone’s Leaderless Teamwork, I’m never happy with my own work, all my team are afraid of me and I’m afraid they will leave. I know I need to change but can’t seem to let go of what I know. And our customers think we are great!

And this was part of the problem, from the outside looking in, all was rosy. The whole team did deliver an excellent service but it was out of fear rather than love. There was muted respect for the owner but more for her skill and not her personality.

This is more common that you think.

Many people who start out in business have no experience of managing people and then suddenly find themselves with 5 or 10 staff.

Many people who find that they need 5 or 10 staff, hire without any knowledge of hiring, delegate without any knowledge of delegating and then wonder why they are so busy with so little cash.

They were making more money when they were on their own!

Having a team gives you the opportunity to get leverage in your business. It allows you to grow and offer your service or product to a wider group of people. It allows you to increase sales and profits. It can allow you to have a life.

So how can you ensure that you become a good manager and leader. there are a few things that you can do, starting today.

1. Study Business – Give up the TV and Radio and become a student of what you do.

2. Study yourself and other people – the better you understand yourself, the easier it is to understand others. When you have the ability to understand, your ability to being understood grows exponentially.

3. Get out of the “busy” zone and get into the “Important” zone. The important zone includes learning, planning, managing, forecasting implementing systems & recreation.

4. Surround yourself with other people that have achieved what you are striving for. they are out there.

5. Get a coach. A coach will help you find a path and will help you on the journey.

6. Get yourself Profiled using DISC – Email me and I will introduce you to the system. Also superb if you are recruiting.

To get from frustrated business owner to successful business owner takes a few small changes that can be implemented daily. Most changes are simple but are not necessarily easy.

 

 

The difference between value and price…

Business owners continue to be challenged to reduce their prices and in many cases reduce their margin. When the product you are selling is not a commodity, it is your responsibility

So actually what is this value, how would you define this concept?

The Value Formula: Value = Benefits – Cost

Please note this down somewhere prominent and when a member of your team asks you if they can discount – point this out to them.

As a business owner, it is important for you to add VALUE for your customers.

You can achieve this by reducing the cost or you rcan do it even more by increasing the benefits that they will get. Either way, the value for the customer increases.

Reducing the Price is the QUICK Fix and you will find yourself repeating it time and again.

Increasing the Benefits needs to be learned, taught and understood but once it happens it will actually benefit your for ever because your team will understand.

The price is what your customer will pay, the value is the benefit that they derive from the product. There are benefits associated with the buying process, the peace of mind associated with doing business with you, the follow up or after sales. there are a number of ways that you can add value.

When you reduce the price for the customer, you do improve the value they get in the immediate short term, BUT you greatly reduce your own ability to build value into that customer in the long term. Coupled with the fact that the customer is of less value to you. You reduce your ability to nurture and look after them as well because you have less profit in your business. DO you really think they want that – especially if there was an opportunity for you to add real value.

People remember the value and experience the benefits of a product long after they forget how much they have paid for an item.

If you would like to find out more about improving the margins in your business, hit reply and request a free assessment.

 

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7 Skills Required for Business

Here are 7 skills/competencies that can really help you with your business.

1. Financial Acumen – Running any business involves money. Love it or hate it, a business is about generating sales, paying suppliers and investing or using the profits. In business it is very important to understand terms like: Margin, Markup, Gross Profit, Net Profit, Cost buffetof Goods, Carriage, Creditor Days, Debtor Days, Interest rates. Unless you take the time to understand these metrics, they will cost you money because you will not ask the right questions. No one cares about your money as much as you should do.

2. Marketing Skills – Marketing involve communication of your message about your product or service, It has to be compelling enough for a potential customer to be interested in it. But marketing goes far wider and deeper than a product – it needs to reflect you and the company as well. Every time a communication is delivered from you or your company, that’s marketing. It evolves all the time. Learn it and embrace it.

3. Sales Skills – Sales are the most important thing in any business, but for most they get the least amount of attention. Most business owner and their teams never receive any formal sales training, yet their business depends on sales for its success. Rather than saying – “yeah, yeah, I know how to sell” – simply say “I can sell, but how good am I at selling”, then go and read a book about selling in your industry. Good sales skills are critical to your success.

4. Networking Skills – Its not about who you know, its about who knows you – old adage – always true. And if you are known – what are you known for – All the right things I hope – Are you the “go to” person in your industry, in your area. Are you an expert? When networking do you look to get or give? It should be give – thats how networking works –

5. Purchasing Skills – making a margin and a profit are 2 of the fundamentals of business. Good buying will allow much higher profits and margins and the customer can also win. Learning how to negotiate on purchasing is a key skill. Knowing your marketplace, knowing your sources, having alternative sources, knowing what your competitors are buying – being able to say “NO”, getting FREE carriage.

6. Pricing Skills – The obsession with cheap often leads people to think that every person knows the price of everything and that they will only buy based on price – this is not true – Price is only a minor factor in the buying decision and it is important to price with this in mind. Being cheap will break your business and attract the worst type of client – price only driven, no loyalty, no appreciation of service, no appreciation of convenience, no appreciation of aftersales service.

7. Customer Service – Again, often neglected – but people will return because of the service they get. Again too many people receive no service training, not even a good induction. A consistent approach to excellent service will deliver more profits than any marketing campaign that you undertake.

We work with our clients every day on the above skills – If you would like a FREE business review – get in touch today – 087 222 0720.

Your Business Attitude to Training

Most small business owners invest very little time or money on training themselves or their employees. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • The benefits of doing it are never measured or quantified.
  • The time that it takes may not be available to many small business owners.
  • The cost of completing it can be prohibitive.
  • Fear of losing an employee having invested in them.

Ongoing training for employees and managers should be mandatory. If only in the area of sales improvement, service and over all attitude.

Consider this example.

A furniture shop has 1000 visitors to the store in a month. They are no greeted or engaged with unless they request help. When help is provided, it is careless and indifferent. Only 100 of the customers buy and they each spend €500. No loyalty is created and none of the customers are enthusiastic about visiting the shop again. 10 of the deliveries are late and end up being cancelled. Total Value of Sales – €45,000 in the month

Why would this company spend money on advertising when it should be spending money on training? Imagine if it did some simple customer service and sales training.

Again, 1000 customers visit the store. They are all greeted warmly, allowed to browse, Little-Gold-Bookcoverconfident that there is a friendly person available to assist them. They walk around comfortable in the store. The store is well presented because the team have been trained in merchandising. Customers can see what products would compliment other products they may want. 250 of them buy products and with help from the team, they spend €550 each. There are no late deliveries and all the customers would consider returning to the store. Total Sales for the month – €137,500 – Cost of Training – About €1000

Why would people not implement an ongoing training policy?

Training can be a great way to reduce your customer acquisition costs and increase your value of each transaction. But training delivered once and never revisited will not deliver. Training needs to be ongoing – if only for 10-15 minutes a week. What works well – is everyone doing this the same way. What does not work so well – Are we trying to eliminate this from our process?

As a manager or owner of a business, training needs to form part of your weekly mantra to your team. Believe it or not, training will make your life easier and will deliver better returns to your business.

As a team member, request training as much as possible, also self train, read and watch as much material as you can on your own development.

Call me today to start the process of ongoing improvement in your business.

 

 

1st Gitomer Certified Advisor in Ireland

Quick Announcement:

Derek O’Dwyer is now the 1st Gitomer Certified Advisor in Ireland. Derek has been personally trained by Jeffrey to deliver his complete range of Classroom and online training. Derek will be running a number of introductor sessions over the next few weeks. for full details of all the courses, check out this website.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The New York Times best-sellers The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of gitomer CAConnections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. All of his books have been number one best-sellers on Amazon.com, including Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Patterson Principles of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching!, The Little Teal Book of Trust, Social BOOM!, and The Little Book of Leadership. Jeffrey’s books have appeared on best-seller lists more than 850 times and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Jeffrey gives public and corporate seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts live and Internet training programs on selling, customer loyalty, and personal development.

In addition Derek also offer people access to the latest in online learning offering one of the most advanced supervised learning platforms.

With over 1000 hours of online content any business owner would be advised to see the system for themselves and take advantge of all that Jeffrey Gitomers training can offer.

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How detailed is your business plan

Very few businesses achieve the level of success that they aspire to. This is a shame. Sometimes the business they have chosen may not have sufficient market to enable it to grow, some may not have the knowledge, some may not have the money and some may not have the poeple. Others just get caught in a RUT and struggle for survival every week and month.

The common trait among most of these business is lack of planning or lack of activity as a result of the planning.

Your plan will guide your success and your ability to stick to your plan will determine the level of success you achieve.

So why do so few people have a plan or ever create a plan? Too Busy, Too much indiscipline, indifference, fear that it will slow them down. Most are not valid reasons.

Some people feel it will hinder their growth – they rarely do.

Some people have plans but they are not comprehensive enough and they do not demonstrate the business owners level of research and understanding of their business or their marketplace.

ActionCOACH run business planning sessions with business owners on a regular basis. Find out more today. Get in touch and we will schedule a planning session with you.