Im always amazed at how disorganised most businesses are. The huge amount of opportunities that fall by the wayside due to poor management. Let me tell you what happened to me recently.
The Car Dealership
I stopped off at my local dealership as I was interested in updating my current vehicle. This dealership is very well-known and spend a fortune on advertising trying to attract more buyers.
I walked in to the new car division and was greeted by a saleswoman. I made some general enquiries and at the end of our conversation decided it wasnt worthwhile purchasing a new vehicle at that time. The salesperson didnt know what questions to ask me and relied on me asking all the questions. She obviously hadnt been trained in selling. When I left she didnt even ask me for my contact details.
I then walked over to the Used Car division. There were two salesmen filling in the afternoon, chatting about the cricket. I had to interrupt their very important conversation to get some assistance. I then asked all the relevant questions (remember Im the buyer here, not the seller it should have been the other way around) and I looked at a couple of different cars. Not once did the salesman try to point out the benefits of the cars. All he did was watch me. When I said thanks very much for your time, he said have a great day.
Again, there was an opportunity to sell me and he did nothing!
The Real Estate Agent
I went to a seminar and heard a well-known agent speak about how they have successfully built their business and how much they really look after their clients.
A couple of weeks later, I rang one of his agents as I was interested in a particular development. I left a message and mentioned that I was seriously looking and to call me back. I had to ring three days later as the call was never returned. The saleswoman gave no apology and was in fact very unfriendly. (Possibly because it was a Sunday). I asked her a few questions and it turned out there wasnt a suitable apartment in the block that would fit my scenario. Instead of asking for all my contact details, she just hung up!
What Should Have Happened?
First of all the owners of these businesses should have their people undertake a training course to learn the art of selling. Programs like Wayne Berrys Sales Bootcamp (Click Here For Details) are ideal. Not only that and this is a big one, they need to learn how to follow up. These salespeople should have asked for my contact details and had a system to stay in contact with me. At some stage the right product to suit my needs could become available and all they had to do was call an already hot prospect.
What Can You Do To Increase Your Profits?
* Train your people constantly. You cant be an expert in everything, send your people out to conferences, seminars and workshops so they can gain valuable skills and utilise them in your business. Make sure you go as well.
At many of my public workshops on How to Have Less Mess, Less Stress and More Success, quite often business owners and managers send their staff along. Their people gain great benefit from attending, although without a doubt, the staffs biggest challenge is management. Its the management who need to attend the most as they can influence change.
* Learn how to get organised and manage your time. Business owners are generally too busy being reactive and dont spend time developing themselves and their people which in turn will develop their business and ultimately make them more money. Theyll also discover how to have more work/life balance.
* Invest in the services of a business coach. A good coach will have the rungs on the board should also be a good role model of what they do. Theyll show you how to work smarter, not harder. Before signing any agreement, check them out. Speak to other people theyve worked with.
Dont be afraid to invest money in this area. If you can learn how to develop your business so that it runs effectively and is more profitable why wouldnt you do so?
A business coach takes a holistic approach to help you develop your business. Theyll show you how to streamline your operations, have a high performing team, market your business, strategic planning etc.
The benefits you gain will far outweigh the investment you make. (Attending our upcoming workshop on 7 Key Strategies To Grow An Ideal Business, February 10 will provide you with tips, tools and tactics to accelerate your business success)
John runs a manufacturing business. He used to constantly blame his manager Dean for underperforming. He felt Dean didnt get the work done and this in turn put pressure on himself to pick up the pieces and sometimes double his own workload.
There were various reasons why Dean was underperforming, however the key one was John. He had very poor leadership skills, in fact his whole organisation was a direct reflection of himself chaotic. So much time and money was wasted in that business because of the owner. This reflected also in staff turnover.
New people would be hired and trained then a few months later leave because of the chaos.
John, undertook our Masterful Managers Program. This program includes a profile which measures many skills that are critically important to a persons success. We used a 360 degree approach which means that not only did the business owner rate himself, he also received feedback from key team members in his business. All of this was done confidentially so that John did not know which people had said what. This part of the process was extremely important otherwise his people would not tell us the real truth for fear of repercussions.
John was blown away by his teams comments. Some were very complimentary, others were not. Through this process we were able to determine exactly what the challenges were and then could work through the solutions. John had no idea that it was himself that was stopping his business from growing.
We also had Dean, the manager participate in this program, with John the owner plus other team members who reported to Dean provide their feedback. There were lots of areas to address here, however the key one was that Dean was in the wrong position. He did not have the skills required for this role and was much better suited elsewhere in the company.
This simple, yet very effective process has saved John thousands of dollars.
He now has a new manager who had to be recruited from outside his company as he didnt have the right person to fulfil this role and Dean is doing extremely well as the Financial Controller. (He never should have been in the managers role as his personality, let alone his skills were unsuitable for the position.) Dean just wanted to close the door every day and get on with his work.
Both of them are extremely happy now, John is on his way to becoming a very effective leader, hes retaining his people and his own productivity has gone through the roof. Now that he has more time he can pay attention to what's onging on in his business. Productivity has increased dramatically resulting in more sales.
The Final Word
It doesnt take much to become more profitable, its just knowing what you need to do... and then just doing it!