Creating a Powerful Plan

Written by:John Harden

CEO’s and Managers have a unique aspect to their jobs – they have the ability to decide what to do almost every moment of every day.  The ability to decide who to see, what to focus on, and determine what are the priorities distinguishes the C-suite from most others.

We have concluded that the use of this time, more than any other single thing, dictates the quality of the results realized. Consistently make good decisions and results improve.  Make thoughtless, inconsistent or reactive decisions and results are sub-par.

One of the ways to ensure that you make good decisions is to create a comprehensive plan – a written, thoughtful plan of action addressing the most impactful things you can do.  A plan should be the result of good, focused thinking, where you analyze and prioritize a number of different aspects of your job.

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Three Priorities All Successful CEO’s Focus On…

Written by:Barbara Hoganson

In our years of working with CEO’s of successful companies of all sizes, we have found pretty much the same three priority goals.  They all want more:

1. Consistent, sustainable revenue

2. Ideal customers

3. Cost reductions that don’t hurt quality

We would all agree that accomplishing these goals is what good business is all about.  But while the goals have not changed over time, how to accomplish them has become significantly more complex with changing dynamics of the market, changes in customer needs and preferences, new ways of reaching and interacting with customers and prospects, new competitors entering the landscape, as well as trying to take advantage of new technology – just to mention a few! 

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How Much Is Just…Too Much?

Written by:John Harden

Today, with the intent of offering more choice and a better customer experience, it seems many businesses would say that “more is better” when it comes to the products and services they offer.  But from the days of offering a solid foundation of core services, in some cases businesses have ended up with a product line that simply matches every competitor.

While buyers may have grown accustomed to having a lot of choices, that doesn’t mean that it is a good idea – for anyone.  Research points out that the task of actually having to choose is often experienced as suffering – not a pleasurable experience at all.

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Increasing Sales…Not Your Sales Staff

Written by:Barbara Hoganson

Increasing sales has been, not surprisingly, the number one topic that we have been asked about this year.  It commands the center of attention as companies reassess and reinvent themselves.

When it comes to selling, many of us have operated under the old rule of thumb that it takes three contacts to get on our prospect’s radar screen, and at least seven before he or she is ready to consider us as an option.  We have all heard stories that up to 90 percent of leads are never even followed up on and that most sales people, under the pressure of delivering results NOW, don’t ever reach the third contact let alone the seventh where all the action is supposed to take place.

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Thriving In The New Frugality

Written by:John Harden

Harden & AssociatesA new survey by Booz & Company confirms that a “new frugality,” characterized by a strong preference for value has become the dominant mind-set among consumers and businesses in the United States.  Born out of a prolonged recession that has left an unemployment rate north of 10% and an “under-employed” rate approaching twice that number, this trend is not likely to change no matter what the pace of economic recovery.

In short, the Great Recession has forced consumers – and businesses – to shift their behaviors, and there is surprisingly little difference in the expenditure reductions across demographic segments.  So if business spending is destined to remain soft during a prolonged recovery, and consumer behavior has changed in perhaps permanent ways, waiting for a return to a pre-recession mind-set is not a productive strategy. Instead, we need to adapt to the new realities of frugal behavior and spending.

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