After much reading, discussing and watching I am convinced that over 95% of people going into a new year don't have written measurable goals for the year.  Many of you have heard this bit of goal setting “Wisdom” and still don't have written goals.

If you are a sales person and say “Wow! I need more sales to make my year!” — you may be out of luck.  If your sales cycle takes longer than 9 weeks from start to close to shipment, you are out of time.

Now is the time to begin looking toward the New Year 2016.  Begin by setting an appointment with yourself for 30 – 60 minutes.  Get blank paper or a blank computer screen and begin writing your thoughts and ideas for accomplishment next year.  This first cut at goal setting doesn't have to be neat — just take time to think about and write your ideas and thoughts down.  My beginning session is usually quite messy and unorganized.

Put this information away in a place you absolutely won't forget where it is so that you can retrieve it next month early December.   Then set an appointment with yourself for 30 – 60 minutes early December and get your list out.

In December you will be amazed at the progress you will have already made toward thinking about and planning your goals for next year.  Your fist list may be messy, but you will be ready to define and refine the list.  You will be subtracting, adding and modifying the original set of goals.  Make the list a little neater and resolve to begin your goals and measure your goals.

Why do I believe in doing this?  It's because I use this method every year and then I set a tracking system and measure progress.  This works!

Try for yourself and get into the 5% group of people who actually write and strive to achieve their goals.  Remember a lot of “Luck” goes along with a lot of preparation.  Look out 2016 here we come! 


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Do customers come back?

When I bought my first company in 1997, I had a 30+ year old going concern, manufacturing in the aerospace arena.  Sales were made in spite of themselves.  Sales were made if the phone rang and someone actually answered it.  In reality the customer had to convince them to take the order and deliver product somewhat close to their needs.

Sounds absurd and contrary to what we all think about today when talking about good and exceptional customer service.

Today I am involved with another business, working in the aerospace arena.  We manufacture needed precision and sheet metal parts, and can provide engineered fabrication and assembly.  The company has been around for over 25+ years.  I don’t see much difference than when I bought my first company.

Today management talks about exceptional customer service, but I find little evidence of actually doing customer service.  During my career I have had opportunity to view and review many companies from supply and supplier side of manufacturing and in many cases I have observed only rhetoric and published mission statements of concern for customers and many times have not seen “Customer Service” in practice.

Rules of engagement say we should have only the customer and customer’s satisfaction in mind.

Reading about and visiting companies I seldom find someone saying “Wow – I can’t wait to give this company my next order!”  Don’t get me wrong — there are companies out there that are concerned about customers and making the buying experience good and/or great!

So, think about your customers and how they view your company.  Here is the process I am undertaking to get more customers and create an atmosphere in the company to keep the customers coming back.

Ask the following and then act on what you find:

  1. Do customers believe it is easy to do business with us?
  2. Do we provide fast accurate quotes or response to pricing requests?
  3. Do we have reasonable delivery times?
  4. Do we work on reasons why if our pricing is out of line?
  5. Do we respond quickly to RMA’s/customer returns?
  6. Do we really care about customers and their experience doing business with us?

Certainly not an exhaustive list of questions.  However, if you are in business and sell to others these questions need be reviewed and acted upon.

I want customers to come back!


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