The Diamond Jubilee weekend is an opportunity to celebrate and be proud of Queen Elizabeth II, and also look at lessons to help your business grow.
During her 60 year reign she has had a huge influence over many people and many nations. Like people all over the world I admire her dedication, respect her values and gain inspiration from her example.
- Queen Elizabeth II has a well defined proposition based on her role and position plus her personal conviction
- She has a massive and diverse network of contacts and followers, built up over 60 years and more
- There is a heavy schedule of activity, from state visits, garden parties, to 1:1 meetings that she undertakes
- She and her staff are very effective communicators, and they use various ways to communicate
- Being organised is essential, to achieve as much as she and ‘the Firm’ accomplish.
Translating this into some practical steps in the business world, and especially marketing and sales, provides an opportunity to improve our own situation in the areas of influence, effectiveness and efficiency. Improving these five areas could make a significant difference to your business, your sales and your productivity. I’ve included specific suggestions at the bottom of the article.
Five tips to help your business grow
1. Passion and purpose
Our purpose may not be as clearly defined (or as complex) as that of the Queen, but it may allow us more freedom to follow and include our passions. Doing something is a business context that aligns with our passion and purpose provides so much clarity, focus and energy. Identifying our gifts and building on our strengths is a great foundation for our careers and our businesses. While sales revenue is a measure of success it is underpinned by giving value for which people are prepared to pay. It’s worthwhile to review now and again what we give, and what we are prepared and able to give. Look at this through the eyes of others, and ask them as well, as there may be a mis-match.
2. Network and followers
We may not have the range and diversity of contacts that the Queen has, but we probably have more control who to include or not include in our network. I find it helpful to categorise them into 4 broad groups at a top level. People may well be in multiple categories.
- Customers – people who have bought our goods and services for money
- Prospects – people who we would like to buy our goods and services in future
- Partners and suppliers – people we work with in order to win and deliver value to our customers
- Supporters – people who help us and our business such as family, friends, advisers, mentors, mates, close colleagues
Reviewing and sub-dividing the categories helps to manage and to develop contact groups. Setting up categories, lists, groups then allocating people appropriately, helps to identify strong areas and weaker areas, and actions to build up or to address them. Use Email lists, categories in CRM, Tags on LinkedIn, Circles in Google+, Lists on Twitter, etc to achieve this. I’ll wager that the Queen has a very good categorisation system in place.
3. Activities – calendar and tasks
Time allocated and spent with each group, as well as non-contact time, should be reviewed regularly, especially as priorities change. Having annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily activities in line with contact groups and goals keeps us on track, when there are so many distractions and calls on our time. Having a program of activities, in a similar way to the Queen, gives our work time and personal lives some really useful structure.
4. Effective Communications
The explosion of new communications channels is a challenge for many people in business. Email volumes have increased. Social Media has arrived. We are bombarded with messages. Raising the strength of our message, by being clear of the purpose, having great substance or content and communicating it effectively to our specific audience will raise our reach and influence. New techniques such as Video and Webinars are available to most people now, if these techniques are relevant. Like the Queen, we need to find ways to make each communication count. We may not have a reach of billions for our videos, as the Queen has for her Christmas message, but the ability to engage on a one to one basis over broadcast media, to give the recipient the feeling that the message talks directly to them, is a powerful skills to have.
5. Organise for Productivity
As individuals and as teams we need to be organised to be effective. Tools such as contact databases and online communications help us organise and use information faster. We can also record and retrieve our goals, objectives, forecasts and track progress towards them. However, data does need to be maintained otherwise it will become inaccurate and worthless. Whereas the Queen has many staff to support her we have the option to use systems such as Contact Management and Customer Relationship Management systems, Social Media, and other tools.
Have a great week and, whether you read this on Diamond Jubilee weekend or later, ‘God Save Our Queen’.