The Secret to Laser-Focus? Don’t Avoid the Trees

In Customer Connections, Leadership Connections, Management Connections, Uncategorized by Shannon Alter0 Comments

It can be tough to laser-focus on new strategies at this time of  the year.  If you’ve traveled lately, you know what I mean. On a recent flight overseas, I found myself in­tently focused on my seat. Well, actually, on the seat in front of me. With the screen barely a foot away, even movie watching was a chal­lenge and I was left to ponder what the airline possibly could have had in mind. I’m betting that the airline knew its seats were uncomfort­able but what they clearly didn’t bank on was the distraction factor. Fidgety, and with a lot of time on my hands (it was a long flight), I didn’t have much to do except think about how the airline was quickly losing me as a customer. They had lost their focus and their value.

Sound familiar? The ability to focus (or not) like a laser is a powerful marketing tool. When you’re planning for your business, think about how you can hone in to un­lock value for your clients and customers. Ask these questions to laser focus your marketing.

WHAT ABOUT THE TREES? Yes, trees. Like many of you, perhaps, I listened to my share of graduation speeches this year. The best speaker recounted his heli-skiing ex­perience in the middle of nowhere with deep, deep snow (better him than me). His guide advised him not to look at the trees. If you concentrate on the trees, the guide said, you’ll definitely hit them and you’ll get squashed. Instead, focus on the white space: Tune your laser beam on what you want, not what you don’t want.

It may seem counter intuitive, but the same is true of marketing your business. Don’t get distracted. Fo­cus squarely on the marketing results you’re looking for—and don’t look at the trees.

QUALITY VERSUS QUANTITY? On a recent consulting assignment about company growth, I asked managers about how they market their companies to take on more business. I was interested to see that several relayed that their company’s goal for the year is to get even better versus bigger.  When we’re first starting our  businesses, it’s natural to take on a little bit of everything. Perhaps we don’t want to be locked into one line of business. Maybe we need to take on a variety of work just to make the rent. Sometimes, our businesses morph and it turns out that not every client we take on is the right client. With 2015 right around the corner, take the opportunity to improve what you’ve got. Now’s the time to analyze which clients have grown, and more impor­tantly, which ones are best for your company.

Remember the old V8® commercial? It shows people getting lightly bopped on the head for forgetting their veggies. Each time, they said, “I could’ve had a V8®.” You don’t want to do that. So, pay attention to the ef­fect distraction has on your marketing. When you’re working on next year’s business plan, sharpen your focus, and don’t avoid the trees.

As for me, next time I’ll try another airline.

Want more info on how to laser-focus your business? Start by checking out our workshops, here.

This article originally appeared in and is reprinted with permission of the Journal of Property Management, Sep,-Oct.2014, Vol.79, No.5. See the original article here.


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