Success in business is very similar to the dedication and strategic planning laid down by top sports stars. To achieve a positive mindset you must search for the strengths and weaknesses within the business and compare them with the opposition then develop winning strategies to overcome self doubt.
- Investigation – the strength of your personnel and their state of mind.
- The Product – the total belief that it will benefit your customer.
- Service – meets all customer needs and wants.
- Preparation – the consistency of input.
- Business Direction – self belief to deliver your message and strategic objectives.
Practice makes for perfection.
In business, I have found that if you leave it to your personnel to operate on their own with little or no preparation, training, or strategic planning, you get mediocre results. Certainly you will always get one or two who will perform above the rest, but in general terms that leads to inconsistent results, whether it be in sales, financial management, stock control, manufacturing or indeed in almost all other parts of the business.
For example, some time ago I carried out consultancy and training for a major banking organisation. The preparation leading up to the training session highlighted some interesting factors. Sitting on the sidelines listening to the head of what we will call “the loan risk evaluation department” (LR) to the sales force. The LR complaint was that the sales force was continually not bringing back all the information required for them to make proper evaluations and decisions for considered loans or overdrafts. This meant that this department was continually chasing the sales team for further information and in doing so this created considerable down time within the department and major delays in the customer getting the loan or overdraft decision.
When investigating this further I discovered that systems had been put in place but not fully adhered to. The systems were based on a questionnaire and if completed properly the LR department would be able to give the required answers almost immediately.
So what went wrong? Firstly the sales force said that they could not sell and fill in the form at the same time. Secondly, when the bank had the sales team go out in pairs, one to sell and one to fill out the form, they still did not complete or come back with the required information.
When analysing all the causes for non compliance, I discovered the main reason the information form was not filled out properly was that some of the questions were awkward questions and that the sales force did not have the confidence to ask them, even although they were crucial to their customers getting a quick decision.
Because of their lack of confidence, the sales force would then have to go back and get the information for the LR department. Sometimes this would take two or three visits to build their confidence to ask the important questions and as a consequence they would sometimes upset customers because of time delays or even lose the customer altogether to another competitor bank who would provide them with the loan or overdraft facility.
What was the major problem?
- Investigation – The strength of their personnel and their state of mind,
- The Product – The total belief that it will benefit their customer.
- Service – Meets all customer needs and wants.
- Preparation – No belief in the consistency of input.
- Business Direction – No self belief to deliver their strategic objectives.
- Lack of confidence – Fear of failure.
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