At the start of a normal year, you would probably set a few personal resolutions for yourself. You might declare that you’ll lose the weight you put on over the holidays, exercise more regularly, or finally run that marathon you’ve been talking about for years.
Most likely, you’d set some professional resolutions alongside those. You could decide that this is the year you’ll get a promotion, beat your benchmarks, or learn a skill that will set you apart.
But this isn’t a normal year. This time around, you need to consider a different set of professional resolutions. If you’re in the building materials industry, here are the ones I recommend you set for yourself.
1. Get to Know Your Customers Even Better
Your customers have just gone through as much change and disruption as you have – if not more. They’ve adapted to the new challenges. The way they did business in 2020 looked a lot different than it did in 2019 – and there’s no telling what it will look like in the year ahead.
Your resolution should be to get to know how your customers have changed and what you can do to better serve them and the way they do business now.
2. Become a Trusted Guide
The last year has been full of upheavals. Your customers responded to them by experimenting. A lot of the new approaches they’ve tried have worked, but some of them were duds.
If you interview your customers about what they’re doing and how it’s panning out, it will give you valuable information that you can share with other customers.
These conversations aren’t about you. They’re about your customers. But that’s exactly why they’re valuable. They will give you the knowledge you need to become a trusted guide.
3. Let Your Customers Decide How They Want to be Sold
How do your customers like to communicate? Do they want to meet in person, exchange some emails, get on a virtual call, or do everything over the phone? Whatever it is, make it easy for them to reach you in the way they prefer.
That applies to your online presence, too. Many customers want to stay in the background while they learn about you. They sell themselves based on what they learn about you online. Your website, online content and reviews all help them to decide if they want to do business with you.
Make sure they can access all the information they need without having to tell you too much. They will let you know when they are ready to talk.
4. Marketing People Should Improve Their Selling Skills
Building materials companies need to constantly update and improve their marketing programs. Marketers know this, but many of them have trouble getting new types of marketing programs approved.
There’s a comfort level with how things have been done in the past and a discomfort with change. Marketing people need to learn how to cut through that resistance to new ideas. If you want to get your marketing programs or directions approved, you need to become a better salesperson so you can sell them to your company leaders.
The benefits of your new idea may be obvious to you, but it probably isn’t to them. You need the skills to help them see the big picture.
If you want some help in becoming better at selling your marketing recommendations, watch this video by Rory Sutherland, the Vice-Chair of Ogilvy UK.
5. Measure Everything
Tools like CRM, marketing automation and Google Analytics make it easier than ever to measure the results of your sales and marketing efforts. There’s no excuse for relying on anecdotal or cherry-picked information to judge the success of your programs.
Your data can be one of your best assets. Tracking it will allow you to benchmark everything and continually raise the bar.
When your company leaders see marketing using data, they are more likley to approve those new ideas and may be even an increased budget.
Make 2021 Your Year
If you follow these resolutions, you will be more successful in 2021. You will outperform your competitors who are stuck in the past and the way things were done a year or more ago.
I’d love to hear your suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions. If you have any, just reply to this email and let me know!
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