Focus on 2016 Sales Growth: FAQ with Ryan Sauers
I spend a lot of time consulting on leadership-related topics. In this post, I’m going to provide three examples of FAQs, along with my responses (i.e., Ryan’s Remarks) to each of them. I hope this proves helpful to you today and in the coming weeks.
FAQ No. 1: Ryan, we are slammed with work and have not had enough time to do any planning for 2016. Do you have any suggestions?
Ryan’s Remarks: I understand how busy you are. We live in a world that moves rapidly and is constantly connected. It is hard to balance everything. However, with that said, we all have the same amount of time: 168 hours in a week (24 x 7). Nobody has any more or less of it. Leaders cannot think in terms of not having enough time to do something; admitting that you “did not make enough time” to do something is more accurate. You see, if you want it bad enough (e.g., planning for 2016) you will find a way—and if you don’t, you will find an excuse. It is as simple as that.
FAQ No. 2: Ryan, most of my employees don’t seem as if they want to work much more than a 40-hour work week and prefer doing things the way they’ve always done them. Do you have any suggestions?
Ryan’s Remarks: It is not the number of hours a week a person works that matters. It is the amount of dedication, diligence and desire brought each hour that matters. You must develop employees who “believe what you believe” and do things because they want to, NOT because they have to. For most people to “buy-in” and begin changing their ways, they need to see a compelling vision and, in turn, want to become part of it. Thus, it is imperative, that you communicate your vision simply and share it convincingly. It is true that humans are reluctant to change (unless they see a clear reason why they should do so). Your job is to clearly communicate with them so that they understand how important they are to the process and why change needs to occur. I recommend that you do this one on one, and then with the group as a whole (once you have individual buy in).
FAQ No. 3: Ryan, you told us we should be more goal-focused. Our goal in sales for 2016 is to have a lot more sales activity and sell more during the year. Is this a goal that will work?
Ryan’s Remarks: It is indeed important to be goal oriented, and I applaud you for thinking in this manner. However, a goal should be SMART in nature. This means it should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. So, “selling more” is too broad and should be narrowed down. For example, you could write something like this: “Our goal is to sell 10 percent more (in gross sales) in calendar year 2016 over calendar year 2015.” Assuming 10 percent is a realistic and attainable number, this is the type of goal that should be set. It is specific, measurable and has dates associated with it. Furthermore, once you set goals, it is vital to break them down even further into the action steps needed to achieve them. Each goal should be broken into mini-goals that can also be measured.
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com