Sell more in 2004. It can be your best year ever. External factors are improving for the first time in months: record third-quarter national growth, improving corporate profits, solid consumer demand, increasing confidence, low inflation and interest rates, emerging employment. And now add election year excitement. Suddenly next year can be your year to grow.
Now, your choice is to sit back and let a rising tide lift all ships, or as a
leader, you can seize the opportunity to increase your sales and market share.
Today’s story is about seizing opportunity—the highest calling for
any entrepreneur. And, it’s about a new, easy way to do it.
WHY GOAL SETTING FAILS
First timers almost always fail at goal setting, and give up. Dreamers think
a wish is a goal. Their pie-in-the-sky number was never serious, so they’re
not surprised when they don’t reach it. Drifters just go along with the
tide. They don’t believe in their own power to control their destinies,
so they never set goals.
And, what about the “satisfied” person? Without desire, there is
no goal. If you want little from life, chances are, you already have it.
WHY GOAL SETTING SUCCEEDS
Only a few business owners set goals, yet those who do achieve exceptional and
disproportionate success. Their sales and incomes are many times that of other
business owners who have equal intelligence and experience. What separates these
business owners from the pack? The answer is amazingly simple: they know where
they are now, where they want to go, and they have a plan to get there.
But it is serious work. Some will do it, many will not. Maybe you want to, but
don’t have the time. Maybe you like the idea, but haven’t had the
training. Maybe you’re just plain scared to try something new and seemingly
complex. Well, if you want the good results, but goal setting isn’t right
for you right now, here is a new way to get optimum results with minimal effort.
GOAL SETTING THE OLD WAY
In every magazine article, every training manual I’ve written, I shared
the correct formula for goal setting: Start with your current sales level and
decide the growth you want. Then, divide the new total by your average customer
sale to yield the number of customers you need. Then, divide the number of customers
by your closing ratio to yield the number of appointments required.
Once you’ve done this, develop a marketing plan of advertising and activities
to assure you have the number of appointments you require. It is the right thing
So what’s the problem? Nobody does it. Well, not nobody, but too few will
follow the formula. Either they don’t have information they need, or aren’t
certain how to develop a marketing plan to get the appointments they require.
So, for the first time, we’ll cut through the clutter to touch on the two
things that count the most. Here is the easy way to get results.
THE NEW WAY TO GROW
You can set overall sales goals if you want to and know how to. But, if you don’t
have historical benchmarks of last year’s number of appointments, closing
ratios and average customer sale, or if you aren’t sure how to construct
a marketing plan to get the appointments you need, here is an easy approach that
should yield about 20 percent sales growth next year.
All you do is make two small changes:
1. Raise your prices three percent and put that money into advertising.
2. Increase your average customer sale by $100.
Wow! It’s that simple.
Now there is no excuse not to grow your business. No elaborate goal setting,
no researching last year’s statistics, no monkeying around with sales plans,
no marketing and advertising plans—and no place to hide! Now, there is
no excuse not to grow. The formula is too easy.
WHY IT WORKS
For those readers who are not happy simply to know what time it is, but want
to know how to build a watch, here’s why this formula works:
Assumption: Whatever your sales are today, your advertising budget is probably
less than five percent of sales. A three percent of sales increase in advertising
will be a big boost to your marketing. It will get you more appointments—likely
10 percent more at least.
Assumption: Your current average customer sale is probably about $1,200. A simple
$100 increase with add-ons equals an eight percent growth in sales. Now combine
the two: get more appointments and more sales at a higher average sale per customer.
You are quickly looking at serious improvement.
Now, add an improving economy, and, voila! about a 20 percent increase in sales!
Sure, goal setting is great. Everyone should do it. But if you don’t, and
still want to grow next year, two simple changes will make a big difference in
sales: Add three percent to advertising and increase your average sale by $100.
This formula works, and it’s easy! So, take your choice, formal goal setting,
or two simple changes. You win either way.
Whether you are a sole manager who aspires to higher sales, or you manage
50 window fashion decorators in a multi-million dollar business, this series
help you manage sales better and increase your profitability. Articles are based
on Steven C. Bursten’s actual experience with sales and financial information
for hundreds of window coverings businesses. As the retired founder of Decorating
Den Interiors and author of a how-to book on new business start up, “Bootstrap
Entrepreneur,” Bursten is a leading expert in Web site and e-mail marketing
through his company, custEmers.com. Questions and comments welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 333-8981.