Preface: [The definition for] “Customer: A person who purchases a commodity or service. Client: A person who is under the protection of another.” Quote from Jay Abraham.
Questions are the Strategic Runway Towards A Great Business
Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA | CVA
As the founder and CEO of the Abraham Group, Jay Abraham has been acknowledged as a foremost authority in the field of business performance enhancement with a marketing metaphor.
This testimonial of Jay’s works is derived from GaryNorth.com about a man who owned no business. Following Jay’s marketing approaches, he did his work without any money of his own. Working for a company as an employee that sold horse trailers, that’s what I would call a “niche market” he strategically developed a huge market opportunity.
What would you figure a horse trailer costs? Guess. At the top end, a horse trailer sells for around $100,000. Sell one, and the money rolls in. So were do you start selling horse trailers? His method was to bring in a crowd of people who were horse lovers. One event he held was visited with 2,900 people. He put on a bazaar, which for us non-horsey types would have been bizarre. He brought a lot of horse-related vendors under one roof: a large indoor arena. He persuaded international horse trainers to come and give free exhibitions. He charged most vendors a low price to set up a booth: $30. He sold all of the spaces. He also contacted horse groups. He did joint ventures with them. They got a free booth for promoting the event to their subscribers. They could use the crowd to recruit new members. Follow-up events that charged $5 to attend drew 1,400 attendees. The money paid for the performers. His boss sold trailers. This cost the company only the salary paid to the budding entrepreneur. The budding entrepreneur was on salary. I imagine he lifted off the runway.
Quoting Jay’s philosophy: The driver of business performance today is a surprisingly simple understanding: You are paid by the world, to think differently/critically and to solve problems or create opportunities/value in better ways than others. You are paid to think differently and more critically than your competitors think – about everything from business model, to brand position, to distribution channels, to marketing, to superior competitive market strategy.
The above testimony exemplifies effort and initiative. Whether a journeyman in business, or a businessman, now ask yourself the following business self-assessment questions, for the Marketing | Sales and Operations. If you answer any question “NO”, then follow-up and ask yourself – “WHY NOT”? Document your answers concisely. Answering “NO” isn’t necessarily wrong, but you should have an answer on “Why Not.”
Marketing | Sales
- Does your business have a marketing and sales plan?
- Do you know why your customers purchase from you?
- Would your customers say your business is among the best in the area for its product(s) or service(s)?
- Does your team understand how they help to solve customer problem(s) that in-turn generate sales and therefore provide them job security?
- Do your customers purchase from you because of the excellent quality of your team’s relationships?
- Do your customers perceive your team as competent and experienced?
- Does your business have its own registered domain name?
- Does your business have a strategic and effective website?
- Does your business obtain regular feedback from customers?
- Does your sales team provide adequate information and reasons on why customers should choose your products or services?
- Does your business have written standard operational procedures?
- Does your team have incentives to be effective with project management?
- Does your business have a work environment that you’d want your daughter to work in?
- Does your business strive to comply with its industry regulations?
- Does your business make operational decisions that provide effective solutions instead of short-term work-arounds?
- Does your team continuously work to improve efficiency and effectiveness of operations?
- Does your team have the tools to complete tasks effectively?
- Do you set clear expectations regularly on team performance effectiveness, expert project completion, team character and team attitude in the field?
Call to action: in summary, I encourage you to read the book: The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization. Then keep your strategic “thinking hats” on.
1. What is our mission?
2. Who is our customer?
3. What does the customer value?
4. What are our results?
5. What is our plan?