John Boyens on Dominating Your Market

John Boyens, Co-Founder and President, The Boyens Group

John Boyens, renown sales productivity expert, business strategist, and President of the Boyens Group, has invaluable insights to share about improving your sales performance and dominating your customer market.

6 Secrets to Dominating Your Market:

  1. Define Success…establish key performance indicators (KPIs)
  2. Know your Customers…segment your marketplace
  3. Know your Competition…establish competitive differentiation
  4. Document your Business’ 5 P’s(the 5P’s are:  1) Positioning/Unique Value Proposition, 2) Product/Service, 3) Placement in Your Market Space, 4) Price, and 5) Promotion/How You Go To Market)
  5. Establish your Go-to-Market Strategy…including a written sales and marketing plan
  6. Leverage Social Media…establish your virtual business strategy (VBS)

Too many business executives spend most of their time running their business rather than focusing on growing their business…in other words, working “in” versus “on” their business…being tactical versus strategic So what can you do to become more strategic?  Here are some best practices from successful business executives to consider:

  • Do one thing to increase your company’s visibility right away (e.g., social media)
  • Identify one person or company who could immediately and positively impact revenue
  • Identify one mundane, time-consuming task that you could delegate or outsource
  • Defer something you’re working on, that really isn’t necessary to be done now
  • Better leverage technology
  • Facilitate customer feedback to validate/invalidate the marketplace perceptions of your company
  • Ensure that your marketing messaging is consistent across all channels (i.e., website, social media, collateral material, pitch deck, sales presentations, trade show booth and advertising).

For more helpful articles on John’s “5 P’s” of all successful business strategies, what to include in a sales and marketing plan, how to create a unique value proposition (UVP), as well as proven social media tips designed to grow revenues quickly, you may refer to John’s website at www.boyens.com.

And a few thoughts from John, in closing:

  • Market domination is a result of positioning
  • Positioning is a result of being UNIQUE
  • Being unique means you can charge more… and get it!

Wishing you improved sales performance and success in dominating your market!

BOARD CORNER: When to Change your CEO…Red flags

“What are the Red Flags that tell you it is time to replace your CEO?

Recently I had the chance to facilitate a group of investors, board members, and trusted business advisors on the topic of “when do you know it is time to change your top executive?”   Here is a summary of the reasons why and advice on letting go of a Chief Executive.

If you are a CEO…beware!  If you are a board member or investor, then take note.

1)    OPAQUENESS:  Not transparent with the board.  Lack of full disclosure and hiding things.  Boards do well with good news or bad news, but not NO news.

2)    STRIFE…Trouble getting along with other people who are believed to be of quality in the organization.

3)    ROSE TINTING: When they always seem to skew the facts in a favorable light.  If they skew the facts to the board, then they probably do it internally and to themselves, which leads to poor decision making

4)    DISORGANIZED: When they seem to have trouble getting organized and prioritizing for themselves and others on their team.

5)    DELEGATION DYSFUNCTION:  When they have trouble delegating.  There is simply too much for a C-level exec to do to be an effective micro-manager, attempt to do it all themselves, or abdicate instead of delegate.

6)    MISSING STEERING WHEEL:  Lost control of business metrics and thus clear understanding of what is driving the business.  Cannot quickly explain the financials or the business drivers.

7)    ATTITUDE!!  I will let you fill in your stories here…everyone has some!

Once you have decided to implement a change, here are some key guidelines for a implementing your decision.  Our advisors were quite emphatic about these points:

NO FEAR.  One seasoned attorney reinforced the concept that it is better to move quickly than to delay due to fear of employee retaliation, noting that reasonable heads always prevail and work things out.  He concluded that a little incentive up front to leave on good terms was a great investment for both parties.  Departing executives who turned nasty rarely benefit as much as those executives who worked to keep the transition as positive experience for all.

NO EXCUSES.  Lack of succession planning is not to be used as an excuse for slowing down a change.  Find other options…quickly.  Have a team of executives you can call at any time to bail you out in any business investment.  Build a relationship with a search consultant dedicated to adding value to your business portfolio.   Tap into talent on the Board of Directors.  Give someone on the executive team an unexpected opportunity.  Just don’t delay.

BE COMPASSIONATE YET FIRM.  More advice from a turnaround expert and nine-time interim CEO: “Be hard on the business situation, and compassionate with the individual.”  Make the changes required to benefit the business, and be respectful and considerate of each person’s dignity and emotions.

MOVE QUICKLY.  What was fascinating was the unanimous opinion that owners never regretted moving quickly to make a change at the top, and yet always regretted moving too slowly.  Some owners also believed that moving quickly was easier on the failing executive, as well as themselves and the organization.  If you are asking the question…you already have your answer!

I appreciate the work and sharing of the advisors in creating this article.  Please add your thoughts and comments below.  Thank you.

Paul Herrerias, Managing Director – San Francisco, Stanton Chase International 

With expert input from:

Tom Barber, Managing Partner – Spanos, Barber, Jesse & Co.

Investor and member of many Board of Directors.

Leadership Thought…for CEO’s

“The leadership issues don’t change, each person just has their own set of priorities around those issues.”

I recently consoled a CEO who was lamenting on the varying needs of each employee, challenging his ability to be an effective leader.  He was confused and befuddled.  How could he consistently lead if everyone needed something different from him?

As he recanted the different needs his employees placed at this feet I reminded him that the important issues don’t change over time…just the mix and priorities of which ones are most important today.  Each employee’s needs change over time and depending on their circumstances.  For example, employees always want vision and direction from the top, they appreciate role clarity, are thankful for received appreciation, learn from feedback they are given, want to make a difference for the company and themselves, want security and care for their families, a chance to learn and develop new skills, and to have positive relationships at work, to name a few eternal leadership ingredients.  Knowing which mix of needs is appropriate for each person today is the secret! This familiarity requires getting to know your employees individually and as groups.

As an analogy, my oldest daughter, Michelle, is serving in the Peace Corps in Madagascar.  One of her projects was to write a cook book using healthy ingredients found in most local markets.  She tells how she created over a dozen recipes using the same six healthy ingredients.  Same ingredients, used in different ratios and priorities.  Of course, any good CEO also knows the importance of how a dinner is served in satisfying the diners…presentation, menu, and ambiance!

May you lead with the right ingredients, recipes, and presentation to meet the needs of your followers!