Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Set Expectations

Once you have confirmed that the customer is a good fit for your business and the customer has requested more information and an estimate, you need to detail what the purchasing or contract phase looks like. The price estimate or sales collateral is the next step in the commitment process on the part of the customer. It should confirm everything you have already spoken about and solidify the deal.

There is no magic trick to selling. There shouldn’t be some big reveal. There is no tool for convincing and impressing. The price estimate or contract proposal is a confirmation, in writing, of what your business can do, how it will do it, when it will be completed, and why the customer specifically needs your product or services. It should be the final step prior to a contract being signed, and your business and the customer should both be confident that the deal will close – and soon.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

Motivation Theory: What Motivates Me

As an employee, I am motivated by items that are personal to my life’s situation. These items have to deal with things that affect my family, my future financials, and me. With considering these things, the company that I work for must have a positive influence on these personal motivational factors.

In the workplace, my motivation to get work done and complete task is based upon the leadership style of my supervisors. A supervisor must understand that my family and future success are key motivational factors for me and my future within the organization. Having an employer that threatens these motivations will result in me putting forth less effort to satisfy my work responsibilities. Moreover, I would begin looking for ways in which to leave the company and instead follow a company that positively influences and aligns with my personal motivational factors. Because family and future are important, it means that steady income, business reference, reliability, likeability, and financial advancement are also important.

The style of leadership that I look for in an employer matches that of a transformational, servant, and transactional leader. A servant leader would take my personal needs and motivations into consideration and will be able to develop upon them (Liden, Wayne, Liao, & Meuser, 2014). This type of leader is said to be sensitive to the personal motivations of their followers (Liden, Wayne, Liao, & Meuser, 2014). While a servant leader would be desired, I believe it would be unlikely to find such a leader considering my belief that workplace employers have other responsibilities outside of serving their employees. A transformational leader can be an ideal point of reference for my learning advancement. This type of leader could motivate me by being optimistic about my future position within the company and would help me reach my career goals (Kovjanic, Schuh, Jonas, Quaquebeke, & Dick, 2012). I would be able to use this type of leader as a role model and they could help me reach my mental capacity for achieving my goals. A transactional leader could provide me with short-term project and task exchanges as motivation to reach my short-term goals (Northouse, 2013, p. 195). The types of rewards and incentives that a transactional leader provides would be motivational throughout the journey of achieving my long-term objectives and satisfying my personal motives.

Overall, nothing is more paramount for me than trust in my employer’s leadership. Having a leader that I trust, would keep me not only motivated for reaching my personal goal, but would build motivation for me to achieve my current and future career goals. Following leaders and working for organizations that provide transactional, transformational, and servant leaders would be effective and beneficial to both myself and my employers if they desire my dedication, knowledge, and creativity within their organization.

 

Credits

Kovjanic, S., Schuh, S., Jonas, K., Quaquebeke, N., & Dick, R. (2012). How do transformational leaders foster positive employee outcomes? A self-determination-based analysis of employees’ needs as mediating links. Journal of Organizational Behavior. Retrieved November 11, 2014, from wileyonlinelibrary.com

Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Liden, R.C., Wayne, S.J., Liao, C., & Meuser, J.D. (2014). Servant leadership and serving culture: Influence on individual and unit performance. Academy of Management Journal, 57, 1434-1452. doi:10.5465/amj.2013.0034

Marketing Strategy

Marketing plans are crucial for starting and growing your business. A good marketing plan will help your business identify target customers and generate a plan to reach and retain those customers. The marketing plan can be a roadmap to gaining customers and improving organizational success if done properly. Additionally, this strategy can help to define your desired customer by targeting their precise needs based on their demographic profiles which are helpful in identifying targeted customers and creating focused advertisements aimed directly at those prospective customers.

Strategy Development. Carefully developing your marketing strategy and performance will help keep your market presence strong. Without planning, you could potentially waste time and money targeting the wrong audience. Effective marketing is often based on the importance of how your customers perceive your business, and has two important principles:

  • Your business policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.
  • Profitable salesvolume is more important than maximum sales volume.

There is no one method of creating a flawless marketing plan. The most effective tried and true method is taking the time to do the necessary research and stay updated on your market and target consumer groups. Monitoring population shifts, legal developments, and local economic situations can help to identify problems and discover opportunities for your business. Monitoring your competitors’ successes and failures is also helpful in devising your marketing strategies.

Marketing Message. The marketing message is the heart of a marketing plan. It details the business’ plan for the marketing materials, how the company plans to achieve its marketing goals and the tactics that will be used to meet them. In addition, the marketing message determines how your business intends to communicate its message to customers. When creating your marketing message, make certain that you focus on how you want your company to be perceived by its customers. Do you want customers to view your business as having good prices, customer support, or quality service? Once you determine your marketing message, you will know the next steps to take for your business.

Distribution. A critical point of your marketing plan is its plan of distribution. The distribution plan details the channels and processes through which customers can make purchases and how your business will reach new customers. The distribution strategy of the plan is considered one of the most important sections of the plan. Examples of an effective distribution strategy include tactics utilizing television, trade shows, and online advertising.

Strategy Milestones cover the business’ major events and achievements that need to occur to keep your strategy on track for success. Milestone events are strategically important for your business and provide an outline of dates and timeframes as to when the events should take place. Additionally, the milestones should be tracked and analyzed with real results. Not sticking to the plan and milestones will likely cause your strategy to fail, particularly, in reaching its expected completion date.

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership was first written about within the writings of Robert K. Geenleaf (Northouse, 2013, p. 219). According to Avolio, Walumbwa, and Weber (2009), the characteristics of a servant leader including: the ability to listen to the needs of others, having empathy, awareness, persuasion, stewardship, and building community (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009). Like authentic leadership, servant leadership includes either implicit or explicit identification of the role of leader self-awareness (Avolio & Gardner, 2005). A servant leader is considered a leader who behaves ethically and will motivate followers without having ulterior motives to first satisfy their personal desires. This type of leader prioritizes the needs of their followers and is more concerned about the success and wellbeing of others. Servant leaders are humble leaders who desire to stimulate strong relationships with their followers by encouragement. This servant approach creates a positive work environment and value for the organization (Sendjaya, & Sarros, 2002; Liden, Wayne, Liao, & Meuser, 2014; Northouse, 2013, p. 248). Leaders who provide emotional support to followers that desire to reach their full potential, can be seen as role models. Servant leaders are linked to followers’ outcomes including organizational attitudes, and performance. Servant leaders are respected and admired for their integrity, trust, and concern for others. Core requirements of a servant leader are empathy and behaving ethically (Liden, Wayne, Liao, & Meuser, 2014).

The desire of a servant leader is not only to take on the role of a servant, but to also take on the nature of a servant. A servant leader will seek to grow and transform their followers (Sendjaya, & Sarros, 2002). As a servant leader provides guidance and direction for their followers, they create what is known as a serving culture. A serving culture can be defined as a group that focuses on behaviors that produce benefits for others. A store manager that engages in being a servant leader is an example of a serving culture. As a servant leader, the manager promotes a culture that inspires to help members and learn the behavioral expectations. The store manager will be an example for the employees, and the employees will learn how to serve others as they follow and admire the manager’s leadership. An employee, follower, or member of the serving culture, must feel cared for, respected, trusted, and supported by the leader. If the leadership is effective, it will enhance the follower’s identification. As employees identify with their store managers leadership, they will identify with the store. If the identification with the store is high, the employees will value the organization and feel a sense of unity with their coworkers. This bond will inspire strong work ethics and better performance (Liden, Wayne, Liao, & Meuser, 2014).

Organization Change in Business

Drivers of organizational change. 

When trying to influence organizational change, you have to first understand why you are trying to influence it. Some good reasons are social influence or responding to an action (Marsden and Friedkin, 1993), sustaining a healthy environment (Newman, 2012), improving understanding, or simply trying to remain relevant to the industry or consumer.

As an entrepreneur, I always find myself having to create organizational change every few years. As technology advances, so must I and my business. In determining whether or not it is time for a change, we look at factors such as a drop in sales, website traffic, or lack of consumer interest. Even without those negative impacts, we must still create change so that we can remain above change. A majority of the changes we make consist around guesswork and market predictions. Sometimes it plays out well and we remain on top or within the industry’s new standards, or we make the wrong decision and are stuck trying to catch-up with the market.

What I have found to be my most effective reason for change is listening to the consumer. We must make it a priority to hear their desires, compliments and complaints. Focus on what they like, what they want more of, and what they want less of. Even if the industry is headed in one direct and the consumer in another, I have found that following the consumer’s change request is more beneficial to the organization. 

Fortunately, most of my business is done online and through websites. Technology has easily allowed my company the opportunity to test the reactions of the customers toward the changes. Because of a majority of the business being done online, there are a multitude of tools that we use to track their reactions as they navigate throughout the web pages. Positive reactions create positive sales, and negative reactions create negative sales.

Organizational change should always be driving in a forward direction, else it’s going backward or is standing still. Neither or which is good for long-term business success.

The keys to successful organizational change. 

Successful organizational change begins with making sure that change is a priority. Being able to implement and continually set goals will prepare for course correction. These goals should include strategic planning along with setting deadlines and leadership roles (Newman, 2012).

My most successful changes have come from simply asking the consumer what they thought of the changes and whether or not they were needed. Survey’s, rewards, and discounts are a great incentive for the consumer and an opportunity for me to hear directly from the persons who the changes are being made for. In the beginning of my career, I would spend weeks or months trying to guess what the consumer wanted and it wasn’t until I decided to ask them, that I was able to implement the most affective changes. 

In order to get to that point of being able to listen to the consumer, I had to research, study, test, analyze and be open to understanding their wants. What I concluded was that organizational change is never going to satisfy everyone. If I tested too much, I would only get more confused by the multitude of reactions and suggestions. Change is only a piece of the solution. What’s equally as important is persuasion of public convincing (Battliana and Casciaro, 2012).

If the leader successfully sustains and oversees the process, the result will be a functional and sustainable transformation of the organization.

Credits

Battliana, J., & Casciaro, T. (2012). Change agents, networks, and institutions: A contingency theory of organizational change. Academy of Management Journal, 55(2), 381-398.

Marsden, P. V., & Friedkin, N. E. 1993. Network studies of social influence. Sociological Methods and Research, 22: 127–151.

Newman, J. (2012). An organizationally change management framework for sustainability.Greener Management International, 57, 65-75.

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