I intend to finish the series that I started two weeks ago. If you missed the first two parts, please visit www.ebusinessweekly.co.zw and search for the article.
Quality conversations shape the quality of actions and results that we get. Let us go to the remaining two question that you need to constantly ask;
Question 3 — What is there about me that makes me difficult to work for, and what needs to change?
The rate of employee turnover in some organisations is quite alarming. There are people who actually leave organisations that are quite paying for organisations that pay less because of toxic organisational culture over sustained by the character of the leader.
The mistake you can ever make as a leader is to think that your employees have nowhere to go. Your company is not the only place in the world, they can actually go somewhere they are treated and where the values are better and permissive of professional growth. There are several other options.
You need to set aside time for introspection.
Each and every one of us has the other side which sometimes may push away other people. You know yourself better, and the corners that need attention. Gather the courage to have the uncomfortable conversation with yourself, and attend to these areas.
Work on yourself.
There are habits that you have developed that also put off other people. The same applies with habits that you have noticed in other people. George Carlin once stated that “anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac”.
There are a lot of things that happen on the road, and this time many people utter some very strong words from the American vocabulary.
If this is how we feel about others on the roads, just imagine what it must be like at work. Think about this: Who is the most annoying person that you work with?
Select your words carefully even when you are angry. Remain polite and respectfully, one day you may actually realise that you were angry and at that time you would have dispatched some very strong words.
The things that you find the most annoying in others are probably true of you to a greater or lesser extent. Identify those, and work on fixing them. Try to do the opposite of what people expect. Their reaction may surprise you. They may actually relax, smile, and do better work as a result.
Question 4 — Which 20 percent of your customers give you the most grief? And which 20 percent of your customers also cost you the most to maintain?
You will appreciate this rule from the work done by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto.
This is now famously called, the Pareto’s Law, or the 80/20 Principle, at work.
This is an important principle that can help in terms of quarantining and severing relations with certain customers. A business should be afraid of losing customers who do not add value to it.
The 20 percent will be a noticeable group of your customers who cost you more in time and other resources than they’re worth. The cost in many cases will be quite heavy. It is likely to be as high as the opposite number.
Let us try to exemplify it, if 20 percent of your customers cause you the most problems, then it’s likely to be 80 percent of your problems! If on the other hand, the number of trouble-makers is only 5 percent, then they will probably cause you 95 percent of your headaches.
It becomes important to identify who they are, so that we can severe ties with them.
You will be aware of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). This group sets production quotas. The purpose of the quota is not to pump as much oil out of the ground as they can. They focus rather is to earn as much money as possible.
In order to achieve that, you pump less; not more. This naturally follows from the settled principles of supply and demand. When the demand is greater than the supply, the prices go up; and so it’s possible to sell less and earn more.
The principle in all the above examples is, less is more.
In the example of oil, less is sold, but for a higher price, and so the overall revenue is more.
When it comes to your customers, you’ll spend the majority of your time and other resources dealing with the issues surrounding a disproportionately small number of them.
If you want to exponential raise the revenue for your business, figure out who is delivering the least amount of value to you, and then get rid of them if need be. Focus on where the real value is coming from. When you have fewer problems to deal with, your focus can shift to acquiring more customers who are easier to deal with. Try to do this exercise frequently so that you remain productive in your business.
Question 5 — How can your sales teams serve your customers and future customers better?
If you ask the wrong one, then there’s little chance that you’ll get a good answer, That’s because it’s based on incorrect assumptions.
You can have great product or service but if you sales and marketing is not in place, you will not be able to grow your business.
The focus for many people will be to ask how their sales teams could sell more, either to existing customers or new ones. This is not necessarily the right question, the focus should be in terms of the question asked above.
The question makes the sales teams part of the value that your business delivers. Customers seek value, and if we develop value, there is even more for your sales team to deliver.
This should remain the focus of your business. Your roles as a business leader is to think about how your sales teams can help your customers to deliver more value to their customers.
When setting up a team realise that the goal isn’t just to sell value; it’s also to enable others to deliver more.
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote speaker, corporate and personal branding speaker commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, strategy and personal and professional development. Arthur is the author of “Toys for Adults” a thought provoking book on entrepreneurship, and “No one is Coming” a book that seeks to equip leaders to take charge. Send your feedback to [email protected] or Visit his website www.arthurmarara.com or contact him on WhatsApp: +263780055152.