Business Can Turn on a Dime

I have a picture frame of a dime sitting on the credenza in my office. Underneath the coin a quote reads: “Business can turn on a dime.”

It was a gift from one of the best salespeople I know following her big, record-breaking year. To this day I love what that gift represents: the commitment and discipline to execute our sales process with consistency, every single day.

Earning a new customer is one of the hardest things to do in any business. It takes a unique blend of humility, ambition, expertise and execution to win consistently. Succeeding in sales over time also requires resolve. Your patience and persistence is going to get tested through the ups and downs, streaks and slumps, wins and losses.

That’s why I believe that building a strong process is critical for driving sales growth. If you have the right process in place and execute consistently, results will follow. Keep doing the right things. Establish the right routine and be relentless.

Business can turn on a dime. I would remind her of this often. It became a mantra that kept us focused during a tough stretch. I knew that results would inevitably show up.

To this day I am obsessed with process and product improvement. Not results. That might sound counter-intuitive, but my daily routine is all about the process. Execute the plan. Stay focused. Business can turn on a dime.

Of course I evaluate results to make sure we’re tracking, and I adjust accordingly. I’m also completely confident that through continuous process and product improvement, we’re going to blow past our performance target.

I hired the sales pro, Lynn, that gave me the dime. This week, our business turned on a dime again.

By the close of business Tuesday, we’d confirmed 12 new events for the week. It’s already a one-week sales record and that doesn’t include the additional inquiries and several opportunities we unfortunately had to pass on based on capacity. I didn’t anticipate the surge and even our channel partners were experiencing the movement:

In a small business, blowing past performance goals is a big deal. The last three years, we’ve closed our calendar year around 75 events — so getting 15% of that within just a few days is an incredible way to start the year. While we didn’t anticipate the surge, it didn’t necessarily come as a surprise. We’ve been tearing apart and improving our process and product over the last 18 months. We both expected to arrive at a moment where our business “would turn on a dime.” We’ve been down this road together before.

I continue to view every touch point with a customer as an opportunity to advance a relationship, add value and earn a commitment. That is why I believe it pays to brand the client experience. Create an identity and process around the total customer experience. Keep clients coming back for more by crafting a clear and compelling differentiation. Stay committed. Business can turn on a dime!

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