OK I get it, consistency is important! Right? We all know this but I guarantee that if there is some aspect of your business that is not doing what you want it to do it is likely because of your commitment to be consistent with what you know has to be done. But what if you don’t know what has to be done consistently?
Darren Hardy, the Publisher and Editorial Director for Success, shares that one of his top 3 keys to success is “to consistently work hard, for a long time”. (Listen to his other keys to success in the January issue interview of the Success Magazine CD.)
What are you being consistent at? Are you consistently starting new projects, implementing, building, evaluating, selling, marketing, networking, and learning? Great, these are all important to your business, but some need to be a part of your day-to-day work and some need to be a part of your long-term maintenance. Let me tell you some stories that might help you identify where you need to focus.
New Projects (Implementing, Building and Evaluating)
It is important that you are evaluating what you have to sell and what else you could have to sell, but you do not want to be creating and starting new projects every day (unless it is for a client) and it is equally important that you do not get in the rut of thinking you have a great product and you don’t have to have anything new. Here are two stories to help you with this.
The first is a story about a company that never seemed to have time to spare. They were always so busy. I like to think of them as busy doing ‘busy work’. They were always creating something new. The next interesting thing they can do for their clients, a downloadable product, a video, a program and yet when I would ask for delivery deadlines it was always a month or so out. They were creating but not delivering new products. As something that Seth Godin might say, creating without shipping means your product remains unseen, and unsalable. You are no closer to being successful if you cannot ‘ship’ or release or launch.
The second story is about a company that had a key position in a very niche market back in the 80’s and early 90’s. They did not put great effort into developing and marketing anything new and when the tides turned in the communications industry, from X25 to IP they were behind the leaders and no longer a key player. The company slowly shrunk until it no longer exists.
Selling and Marketing (including channels like networking)
Do you have a sales process? Do you have a marketing budget? Have you set aside time every day, week and month to do what needs to be done? In your sales process you must have specific times set aside to do your calls. Even if you have the most advanced online campaign you must still reach out to people on a personal level. If you are too busy to do that then get an assistant to reach out and set dates for you to talk to the key clients that will make your business greater.
Your assistant will need your schedule and thus you must have times set aside for these calls every week. Don’t wait until you find someone to sell to, open up you schedule for calls in advance. Set aside 3 to 5 appointment times every week, at least a week in advanced so you can set your intentions to fill them with calls. Be consistent in your intention to create the time and fill it with calls and you will make a change in your sales.
This is the same for your marketing campaign. People must know about you and hear about you regularly to be able to keep your name above the other marketing noise. This means you have to be consistent in your efforts to connect with your potential clients. Whatever your marketing channels are, e.g. e-mail campaign, networking, paid advertising, PR, article writing, blogging, etc., if they stop hearing from you they stop thinking about you and their need for what you have. No one is unique enough to be the only person or business in their niche. Your competitors are not just in your community but from anywhere in the world, so be driven to make your marketing efforts a daily, weekly, and monthly effort.
I always say that the key law in the universe is “entropy”. Everything in the universe is in a state of decay, working towards chaos, and without the addition of energy it will cease to exist. Everything, from galaxies to insects, from planets to building, from credibility to your skills, constantly needs energy. That is truer today than it has ever been. Our society is changing so quickly. The amount of effort that is put into the knowledge-base that drives the change is increasing with the number of people that can easily join the conversation. You will quickly become irrelevant if you are not constantly learning, improving, and upgrading your own knowledge base. Be consistent with your effort to improve; attempt to learn something every day with a goal to be significantly more educated yearly.
So what needs your focus right now to increase your consistent effort and improve upon? Make your list and then focus on one or two at a time to make the change in your behaviour stick and you will see your bottom line change as well.