To get better results from your marketing, manage what you can control (your activities) and monitor what you cannot control (the results).
Once I began to understand and believe this concept (with the help of some smart friends) things got a lot easier. And, it has helped me manage my business better, as well as improve our marketing performance.
(Actually this one works well in all areas of life, which is why I like it so much.)
It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you only have direct control over what you do. You only have direct control over the actions you engage in.
For example, you can place an advertisement in a newspaper. You can write the copy for the ad. You can tell the ad salesperson how long to run the ad. You can pay for it so it runs. You can do a lot of things that create the advertisement.
But, you cannot make people respond to your ad.
And, when they do respond, you can talk to them. You can help them in any number of ways. But you cannot make them buy from you.
If you’re selling a product or service directly, you can decide who to call on, how to call on them, what to say and how to say it. You can manage your actions but you have no direct control over what your prospect or customer will do.
I understand we can influence people with our words and actions. And, in the end, isn’t that what marketing is about? But, what I’m talking about here is not indirect influence. What I’m talking about here is direct control over an outcome.
I know this sounds simple. And maybe it is. But think of the scientist setting up an experiment. They document and setup all the inputs that go into the experiment. Then they monitor the results. They start with INPUTS and look at RESULTS. They do not start with the results. That would be silly.
I think too many of us forget this because we focus more on results than inputs. (I know I tend to.) If we cannot directly control results then why focus on them so much? Since our activities are the inputs that lead to results and since we do have direct control over our activities, then maybe we’re better off if we focus on our activities.
Like my accountant/father says, “focus on selling not on revenue. If you make sales you will have revenue.”
So, to make sales, I have to take certain, specific actions. If I do them well people buy from me and we have revenue. If I don’t do them well, fewer people will buy from me. But, if I don’t do them at all, then no new sales will occur.
Actions lead to results.
As you promote your business (to get more sales) remember this. Plan your actions so you are taking the actions you know lead to sales. It is the quality and quantity of these actions that determine the level of sales they generate.
Monitor your results and then adjust your activities as needed to generate the level of sales you want. But, remember, you don’t make sales happen. You take actions that lead to people buying from you.
So, manage your activities and monitor your results. Your business will thank you.