You Don't Know Jack!
You Don't Know Jack!
"So, as I was saying,"Jackpot, the CEO, blathered on in the management meeting, causing everyone to struggle with resisting yawning. He talked a lot but said little. (His real name was John, but they called him Jackpot because legend had it that he'd started the company with a windfall won in Las Vegas. There seemed no other way he could have gotten this far.)
Jaqueline, the CMO, rolled her eyes. It was unbelievable that the head of the company could know so little about what motivated consumers to buy their products.
Management meetings were often tedious, but this one got crazy when Jack, the COO, interrupted Jackpot and started to speak while flashing his new jacknife. (His real name was Mark, but everyone called him Jack because he truly was a Jack-of-all-Trades.)
Jackpot stopped talking. “What’re ya doin’?” he stammered.
“I just wanted to show you a trick. Look, we're trying to sell this pancake maker. So, I cooked up a flapjack and I’m gonna slice it in half in midair. I thought that Jaqueline could use this trick in her marketing. Whaddya think?” He proceeded to flip a flapjack halfway up to the ceiling and then caught it on the way down with his knife, extending his other hand with a plate for the flapjacks to land squarely; he finished by slathering them with maple syrup.
Everyone in the room laughed and clapped, but you could hear old Blackjack snickering the loudest. (His real name was Michael, but everyone called him Blackjack because he was frequently playing cards and beating everyone at 21). He mumbled audibly, “What a jackass!”
Jack spun around like a lumberjack dancing on logs and retorted, “Are ya trying to hijack my show?” The room went silent as he stared Blackjack down.
“Splendid”, said Jackpot as he tugged at his jacket, ending the standoff. “A crackerjack performance! The idea is fine, just fine.”
Everyone around the boardroom table let out a sigh. This was the moment to hightail it out of the meeting like jackrabbits!
Have you been in meetings where performance art took up all the time while talking about the matter at hand, such as Direct to Consumer Sales tactics, was sidestepped?
When the room is filled with long speeches and empty phrases that all sound pretty but have no methods spelled out, you know that the goal is not going to be achieved.
For high performers, this is more than frustrating. This is baloney. Or as our story might say, the speakers don’t know jack…!
A goal needs a plan, and a plan needs practice, and practice does make perfect.
Here is the one simple question that is assured to get results if incorporated into the planning:
How many new customers do we want to acquire?
How much money will the average sale be?
How are we going to market each offer?
How are we going to reach new customers?
How can we get repeat sales?
In our example, the goal is to sell more Direct to Consumer. So, being clear on a few milestone numbers will help to gauge success. Moreover, it forces the team to be creative in getting to the goal.
Most companies state the goal but forget to define the ‘recipe’ for getting results. The secret rests in answering the HOW question. By drilling into the HOW, the team gets better overall.
New systems are brought into play,
Procedures are challenged and broken down, then rebuilt so that efficiency in operations are achieved
Keeping customers happy and buying again becomes a performance requirement, not a ‘nice to have.’
The need to showcase and market new products produces a call for ideas that fill the ‘suggestion box’ to overflowing.
The team is charged up and sales can boom.