You already have plenty on your plate numbering well into the double digits. You get a new idea or become aware that there is yet another project you need to jump into and execute like a rock star. How do you stay out of overwhelm? How do you bring forth your best strategic thinking? How do you get it all done? Follow the four P’s of Productivity.
Prepare – Promote – Present – Profit
Prepare: Block out some time to plan and prepare. You can do this initially in less than an hour. If you have no extra time in your schedule, suck it up and wake up an hour earlier than usual to get this done. During this seminal time, pull together the information you will need to get started. Identify and make a list of the people who need to be involved. Pull together whatever documents need to be included in the preparation phase.
Identify what success looks like and will feel like as a result of proper preparation. Think through the life of the event and beyond. What does successful follow-up look like with leads that are generated from the event or project?
Get your calendar, planner or PDA device that is ubiquitous for you and start plugging in projects and action items accordingly to when you can realistically engage with them.
What are your primary, secondary and tertiary objectives for the project? Be mindful of what is the message and call to action you want to convey effectively. List out whatever materials you will need for the event. Allow the proper amount of time and place orders accordingly.
Promote: This can take on two different forms, both of which are important and are dictated by the type of project you are developing. Let’s assume you are a service business and are going to participate in a trade show. You will need to promote your company before, during and after the event. You will also need to promote it within your organization so that when the rush of business comes in, people are prepared to interface with clients appropriately and process transactions accordingly. Be aware of the need to build in any training time that may be needed.
Decide who your target audience is. Decide where their eyes spend time. What forms of social media does your ideal prospect prefer to view? Do they text? Are they subscribing to you email list? To what trade journals and newspapers do they subscribe? What blogs do they frequent? Do you have their physical mailing address for sending fliers, post cards etc.? Determine which of these communication platforms will best get your message onto their radar.
Formulate, in a few different ways, the mindful message you want them to experience. Develop a sequence of communications and distribute them accordingly through the best platforms you have chosen. The purpose of the promotion is to get your target market to know you and like you prior to the event. What helpful tools and information can you provide that will endear your prospects to you? Include those in your communications so you become invaluable and memorable.
Present: During the event the purpose is to establish, cultivate and deepen relationships with your prospective clients. During the promotion phase, much of the work has been done on your behalf to position you favorably and warm up your prospective clients to want to interact with you. Stay on track with your primary message to accomplish your primary objectives. Be clear on how you will effectively communicate your message, call to action and how to handle objections. Often questions are the answer and also one of the best ways to quickly connect with people. Develop and rehearse several questions that will support you in cultivating the relationships you want with your prospective clients. Practice is another “P” that will serve you well here.
Profit/Progress: This is the period after the event and where most professionals fail. It’s called follow-up failure, and you can avoid it. Before, during and after the project, establish and update metrics to measure and monitor the effectiveness of the project. Did you make progress on your objectives? What were actual sales as a result of the event? Did you increase the Likes on your Facebook page? How many sign-ups to your email list did you secure? Did you acquire requests for bids? How will you follow up over the next week, month and year and convert your leads into actual clients?
Answer these questions effectively, and you will see your profits rise indubitably.
Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!
Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 530-273-8000 or visit http://probrillilance.com