Just got back from my interview with Becky Surran at News 12 in Connecticut. (What an amazing, state of the art studio.) Below is a summary of what we discussed.
For many companies it’s a battlefield out there and the battlefield isn’t limited to the marketplace but the workplace. And again, all roads lead back to the manager or the business owner because the manager is the one who has the power to affect the environment and culture within any organization and as such, the one directly responsible for it.
Many managers don’t realize they have this power and the power to turn their people’s performance around. And it all starts with the realization that what got you here today won’t be the same skills and strategies that are going to get you where you want to be tomorrow. One strategy to stay away from is to simply wait it out and weather the storm. Not a good move. I see many companies today waiting themselves right out of business.
With all the layoffs and decrease in customer and corporate spending that many businesses are experiencing now, one of the top questions I’m hearing is, “How do I get and keep my people motivated and productive?” Here are several strategies that any business owner or manager can do today to better motivate their people and make that fundamental shift from surviving to thriving again.
1. Overcommunicate. Many business owners and managers are hiding under their desks in fear, avoiding their clients and employees. Instead, take a proactive stance and overcommunicate with them. For your employees, let know they are going through this together and not alone. Spend more time each week speaking with them to uncover what their fears and worries are. After all, if your employees fear a possible acquisition, company sale or the loss of their job, what do you think they’re spending their time doing each day? Everything except working to improve their current condition! This holds true for your customers as well.
2. Become a Hunter and a Farmer: Whether through natural attrition or your competition’s efforts to grab more market share, organizations are losing their customers. As such, many companies are telling me they are shifting their efforts from growth to maintenance. I say need a healthy balance of both of these activities. Over service your existing client base while focusing on new opportunities to attract more customers. and while your overdelivering on value, you’ll be able to create new selling opportunities with your existing clients as well as potential referrals.
3. Reinvent Your M.V.P.: Your M.V.P. is your most valuable proposition. It’s what makes you unique rather than the same. Many companies still rely on antiquated and often uncomfortable selling strategies. They no longer offer a competitive edge that separates them from everyone else and promotes a healthy, winning relationship with their customers. As a result, they find themselves in the costly and undesirable position of relying on price as a competitive differentiator; thus diluting their true value offering. If you find yourself selling on price you’re already in trouble. Rather than change their approach, they work harder and longer, only to produce the same results as before. What makes you unique? What makes you a client’s first choice? What additional value can you deliver that would make you stand out from the rest? More boutique and hands on customer service or even a better guarantee are just a couple of things you can do to reinforce value in your customer’s mind. And why they should keep buying from you.
4. Change The Fuel That Drives You: The rising cost of the fuel we’re all experiencing isn’t limited to what you may think. This also includes the fuel you’re using to motivate and drive your team. Change the fuel that’s driving you and your people. Make the shift away from being driven by fear, scarcity and consequence to a healthier energy source. And that would be using abundance and pleasure to motivate your people. Focus on their dreams and goals. Motivate using people rather than using consequence. Informing people that they won’t have a job unless they turn their performance around is a toxic strategy that doesn’t reinforce the changes you want them to make. Instead, focus on what they are doing well and what you want them to do better. Reinforce positive behaviors and take a stand for them, rather than tearing down their confidence.