7 Principles to Maximize Your Profits in Any Market
The most pressing problem or need facing business owners today is the ability to attract more customers and make more sales.
Fortunately, based on our work with more than ten thousand businesses, of all sizes, in 55 countries, Mark Thompson and I have discovered seven essential factors to help you maximize your profits in any market, including today.
We have written a simple, powerful, practical book containing these proven principles and strategies that anyone can use to increase their sales and profitability immediately, in virtually any business.
We have discovered that there are seven essential elements of high profit businesses. In times of turbulence and rapid change, when all bets are off in the current economy, it is essential that you come back to these seven principles over and over again. Here they are.
Principle One: Become a Great Leader
The fact is that the best businesses have the best leaders, at every level. The job of the leader is to establish the vision, values, mission, purpose and goals of the company. If the leader is not absolutely clear about each one of these, it is not possible for anyone else in the company to be clear about them either.
The leader’s job is to lead. It is to make the critical decisions that determine the fate and future of the business. The job of the leader is to be clear about what he or she wants to accomplish and then get everyone in the company focused on that end goal.
The leader must be goal-oriented. He/She must have clear, specific written goals and plans to achieve each critical business objective, especially those of sales, cash flow and profitability.
The leader must be result-oriented. He must focus the limited resources of the company on those areas where the greatest results are possible.
In addition, you must be people-oriented, solution-oriented, sales-oriented, and cash flow-oriented. These are the requirements of leadership in a turbulent business in a tough market economy.
Principle Two: Develop a Great Business Plan
The process of developing a business plan forces you to think through every critical element that will determine your business success. You must have a plan for selecting your products and services, developing your marketing, selecting the right people, getting the money you need, designing your sales process, arranging for distribution, service and collection of payments, and many other factors.
Especially, you must be absolutely clear about the critical numbers in your business. There is always one number that is more indicative and predictive of your success than any other and you must decide what it is. It may be number of sales, size of sales, profitability of sales, number of repeat purchases per customer, or rate of growth. There are thirty-five different measures that may be applicable to your business and you must be absolutely clear about which measure is most important to you.
Principle Three: Surround Yourself with Great People
Your ability to interview, select, hire and deploy excellent people is the control valve on your success in business. Fortunately, you can become excellent at the process of finding and keeping good people with a little instruction, guidance and practice.
The best companies have the best people. The second best companies have the second best people. The third best companies are on their way out of business. Sometimes, the selection or de-selection of a single person can have a major difference on your business results.
Principle Four: Offer a Great Product or Service
This is perhaps the most important element of business success. The product or service must be truly excellent. It must cause customers to say, upon using your product or service, that, “This is a great product!”
This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where your business intelligence most shows itself. This is where you demonstrate that you are on the high road to greater sales and profitability. It is when you can continually focus on making your product or service so attractive and helpful that people literally want to tear it out of your hands.
Fortunately, most products start off as average or below average. They are then improved over time, making them more and more attractive and desirable to more and more customers until people start to say, “This is a great product!” This is one of the most important strategies and skills that you learn in our book.
Principle Five: Develop a Great Marketing Plan
In reality, all strategy is marketing strategy. The key to success or failure in your business, once you have an excellent product or service to sell, is to attract more qualified prospects to your offerings.
Your marketing plan must position your product or service as the most desirable and attractive of all similar products or services available in your market at this time. You must practice specialization, differentiation, segmentation, and concentration. You and your team must be absolutely excellent, every single day, at getting the phone to ring, at getting more and more people to call you and contact you to learn more about your products and services.
Your marketing plan will determine your success or failure as much, if not more, than any other single factor.
Principle Six: Perfect a Great Sales Process
The rule is that, “nothing happens until a sale takes place.” It is amazing how many companies have excellent products and services, excellent people, and excellent plans, but they have given little or no thought to the sales process. The sales process refers to every single point of contact that you have with a potential customer, from the first time they see or hear about you, all the way through to the closing of the sale and the payment of the price you charge.
You and your sales team must be excellent at prospecting, establishing rapport, identifying needs accurately, presenting persuasively, answering objections, closing the sale, and getting re-sales and referrals from happy customers.
One small improvement in any one of these key areas can lead to dramatic improvements in the number of sales you make, the amount of cash you have coming in, and the profitability of your business.
Principle Seven: Create a Great Customer Experience
In the final analysis, your ability to satisfy your customers at such a high level that they say, “This is a great company!” and they want to buy from you again, and bring their friends, is the key determinant of your success.
The key to a great customer experience is to make your customers feel happy, pleased, satisfied and wonderful about dealing with you. This is something that you must work on, in competition with every other company who wants to offer a great customer experience. Fortunately, there are specific, proven, tested methods and techniques that you can use to get your customers to come back to you over and over again, and to refer you enthusiastically to others.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.