Consuming information without a practical put-it-to-work plan is like making a sandwich without bread. All you have is a sad spread of fresh deli turkey, Swiss cheese, crispy lettuce, an enormous Beefsteak tomato, creamy mayo, and spicy mustard. Nothing there to wrap your fixings into a proper snack.
In our last two emails, we shared two revenue-producing things every company can do.
Discover how your audience is engaging with the valuable information you’re continually sharing with them
How to use what you learn from your audience to deliver actionable, specific email engagement
Great Information. Now What?
Here’s the reality. Both of these are fine sandwich fixings.
But before we pull all of these ingredients out of the refrigerator, we need to be clear about what we’re making. Is it a sandwich or a salad? How does this fit into our healthy meal plan?
Even the best information is only useful and actionable when it has a place in your big plan. Information needs context and purpose. As I thought back to the last two emails, I wondered if any of you were saying --
“Good to know, but what do I do with that information now?”
“I’ll put that on our to do list.”
“Does this work for us?”
“That won’t take long to do.”
“That won’t work for us because ___.”
8 Tips to Help You With "Now What?"
I consume a lot of content and find myself saying those same words. Or worse, I overlook a valuable insight because I didn't take the time to think about it. It’s easy to get excited about a fresh idea when you know that it makes sense. The problem is even a quick to do takes time and resources.
When I’m tempted (too often) to go all in, I hit the brakes. I go back to our long-term strategy statement and ask one simple question –
How will doing this contribute to the specific value we’re committed to delivering to our clients?
Start by writing down all of the things you will need to do to make this happen. It sounds tedious, but you’ll be surprised at what you uncover.
Ask yourself what you will need to stop doing to implement this. New opportunities don’t create more time in your day or replace lost revenue.
What are the desired results? Are they better than what you have to give up?
How will you measure the results? Be realistic. Hope isn’t a plan.
What’s the next problem you will solve? When you solve one problem for your client, you create the next one. Continuing the cycle of listening and responding builds the lasting relationships everyone values.
Talk to a trusted peer in your network. Be open to listening. An unbiased, objective perspective can not only save you time and money but also help you uncover unexpected opportunities.
An actual client example. Our client offered several transactional services. When we looked at their customer data from one offering, we quickly noticed a pattern. A lot of these customers were also their target customers for another of their offerings. Their comfortable, fixed mindset prevented them from looking at the data differently.
As one of their team members said, “That’s the best use of data I’ve ever seen .” It didn't happen because we had some secret advantage. We simply contributed a fresh, unbiased eye.
Keep an idea notebook. The tool isn’t important. It can be an app, software, or a physical notebook, whatever works for you.
Every new idea can’t be done today.
Some should never be done.
If it’s right for your company and your clients, then it will still be right tomorrow or next week.
Pause. Patience. Purpose. Plan.
A Final Thought
Sometimes our clients and customers are telling us that one of our products or services isn’t what it used to be. It’s easy for us to neglect those reliable workhorse offerings.
Remember: Your clients are continually expecting the next fresh new thing from you. The same old stuff won't keep your customers connected no matter how much they like you.
This is one of the reasons why we encourage every company, regardless of size, to create and regularly revisit their software, hardware, and data inventories. These are the valuable company assets that support your long-term strategic commitment.
When your asset inventories need an unbiased look, we would love to work alongside you
is a lifelong curious learner who believes a knowledge-first approach builds valuable client relationships. She is fueled by discovering the unexpected connections among technology, data, information, people and process. For more than four decades, Linda and Quest Technology Group have been their clients' trusted advisor and strategic partner.
Linda believes that lasting value and trust are created through continuously listening, sharing knowledge freely, and delivering more than their clients even know they need. As the CIO of their first startup client said, "The value that Quest brings to Cotton States is far greater than the software they develop."