It’s time once again for all of us to make our New year’s resolutions, both the personal and the professional ones.
Resolutions are a great way to start the year feeling empowered. They give us a goal to strive for and a roadmap for how to achieve it.
The thing with resolutions, though, is that they’re a lot easier to follow when things are certain and predictable.
Just imagine how hard it would be to train for a marathon if you knew there was a 50% chance the marathon would get canceled. You would struggle to stay motivated. Most days, you might not even bother lacing up your running shoes.
Unfortunately, that’s what it’s like in the Built World these days. The only thing that’s certain is that we have no idea what the next year will look like – or even the next month.
Still, this is the perfect time to reassess our personal and professional priorities. No matter how much uncertainty you’re facing, there are always opportunities you can seize.
From my own personal experience, I recommend that you make your health your number one priority. That’s something you’ll never regret doing.
On a professional level, this could be the year you aim for a promotion, beat your benchmarks, or finally learn a skill that will really set you apart from the others in your field.
And if you’re in the Built World industry, there are five specific resolutions you should be setting for yourself.
Your company has just been through a lot of changes, disruptions and unexpected problems. But so have your customers.
They’ve adapted to those new challenges. That means the way they did business in 2021 looked a lot different than it did in 2020. And there’s no telling what it will look like in 2022.
It also means the information you have about your customers is already outdated. If you want to serve them better, you have to understand them and the way they do business now – not six months ago.
Start collecting that information. Talk to them. Schedule regular calls with customers and ask them for updates. Find out what challenges they’re facing, what would really help them and what they’re looking for when dealing with a company like yours.
How do your customers see you? If you’re just a vendor, you’ll have a hard time keeping their business. They don’t need someone who can supply them with products or services – any company can do that. What they need is someone with expertise they don’t have.
You can get that expertise just by talking to your customers. They’ve been spending the last two years experimenting. They’ve tried a lot of different approaches in response to all the upheavals they faced. Some of those experiments worked; others were duds.
Think of all those experiments like individual data points. The more data you collect, the more you’ll get a sense of what works and what doesn’t – and why.
So, interview your customers about what they’re doing and how it’s panning out. That will give you valuable information and insights you can share with your other customers. And that, in turn, will make you an expert they can rely on.
Customers are willing to give up on a vendor. But they won’t be so quick to let go of a trusted guide.
Following a system can be a great way to succeed – as long as you’re still flexible enough to meet your customers’ needs.
Maybe your system involves sending out a lot of emails. Maybe you like to do business over the phone. Maybe you’re old fashioned and you want to set up as many face-to-face meetings or Zoom calls as you can.
That’s fine. But what do your customers prefer?
If they’re too busy for Zoom and prefer emails, that’s how you should communicate with them. If they find emails too impersonal, you should be ready to hop on a call with them.
If you make it easier for them, they’ll be happier doing business with you. It’s as simple as that.
How many times have you tried to get information from a website only to run into a page that asked you to set up a meeting or start a live chat?
That’s a great option for the customers who want it, but some of them will want to gather information by themselves. They want to see a list of prices without having to email for quotes. They want to get answers without having to talk to someone.
To them, that email, phone number, or live chat they can use isn’t an opportunity to get an answer. It’s a roadblock to getting an answer on their terms.
You don’t want to lose these potential customers, because they’re willing to do a log of the work for you. They actually sell themselves – but only if they can find all the information they need to make a decision about your products and your company.
If your website doesn’t let customers help themselves, make it a point to change that this year. Create helpful blog posts and guides, beef up the product information on your site and organize everything so that it’s extremely easy for customers to navigate and find all the information they need.
You’ve heard the expression “leaving money on the table.” Well, a lot of Built World companies are still leaving information on the table.
Thanks to CRM’s, marketing automation solutions and even Google Analytics, you have an unprecedented amount of data literally at your fingertips. If you’re not measuring, tracking and analyzing it, you’re missing out on valuable insights that would help you grow your business.
Decades ago, it was a lot harder to measure the results of your sales and marketing efforts. You had to rely on whatever information you managed to get down on spreadsheets along with some anecdotal evidence.
Now, you don’t have to guess at how successful your sales or marketing efforts are. You have all the information you need to accurately assess them – as long as you’re tracking and measuring all of it.
The data’s already there. It’s time for you to use it.
Measure everything. Create benchmarks and then raise the bar so you can surpass them.
Nothing’s predictable anymore and there’s no telling what challenges the Built World industry will be facing in 2022.
What I do know, however, is that these resolutions will help you be more successful. No matter what happens, these will make it easier for you to outperform your competitors and do even better than you did last year.
These are resolutions you won’t have trouble sticking to – not once you see how successful they make you.