April 15, 2014
As long as we can remember, we have been told that two heads are better than one. It is instilled in us at an early age that discussing, collaborating, working together—dare I say team work, brainstorming will almost always produce greater ideas and thoughts than one will produce when thinking alone.
The combination of several or many working together coincidently follows my blog from last week where I discussed the need to surround yourself with the best, most talented. When talent gets together and discusses a topic, incredible ideas can result. The discussions and words open doors in our minds and enable the creativity to flow. Insight becomes a by-product, clarity becomes a reality, thinking and thinking out of the box happens.
This week in one of my coaching/consulting sessions, one of my top clients, owner of an $8M business, his marketing manager and I met to review current marketing strategy results. The ensuing discussion produced one of the most invigorating, insightful, and satisfying coaching sessions I have participated in. After touching on numbers the business owner made the statement that he would like to see a combination of referrals and repeat customers result in x sales per month. The next 45 minutes produced a comprehensive, easily implemented list of strategies that will focus on a three pronged attack to attract referrals, repeat customers and strategies to reach out to current customers based on the business cycle of their products. It was like watching a Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland musical where the players come up with ideas to put on a show. This brainstorming produced no less than 14 strategies to attract and encourage current and past customers to give referrals and become repeat customers. All participants left the meeting excited about the possibilities that will result from the implementation of the strategies. A marketing plan was born.
I conveyed earlier thinking ensued. It was almost like seeing light bulbs go off. I am always elated when I see and hear ideas of my clients that result from them thinking. Several years ago, I obtained a new client that did not want to start the coaching process until the first of the year because one of their top clients closed for much of December and hurt their cash flow. I asked a few questions and determined that this print shop was not making and promoting calendars for retail sale during the Holidays and for the New Year. With encouragement I persuaded them to promote having consumers come to them with 13 favorite or themed pictures to create their personalized calendar for the next year, for themselves and for giving as gifts.
They did this and initially the results were mediocre, however then they began to think. Just like the title of Napoleon Hill’s book—Think and Grow Rich. What could enhance the results of this strategy? The store owner went down the street of this small Southern Town to the museum and obtained the rights to reproduce historical pictures of the town. He then went to several retailers in the area and sold the calendars to them. The retailers were incredibly successful and came back for more and more calendars. In fact, one Sunday just before Christmas the print shop owner got calls at home asking for more calendars, because a retailer had sold out and wanted some immediately on Monday. This campaign was so successful that it offset the coaching investment for many months.
Yes, two or more heads are better than one. The insights gained from exchanging ideas, bouncing off thoughts to others, getting people to look at things differently or from a different angle can open our eyes to ideas, thoughts, strategies, tactics that can produce incredible results.
So who are you brainstorming with?