As the financial statements of 2012 became ready and the year 2013 began well, I dared to publish this kind of a blog post. The success of many of you who are reading this blog is far beyond ours, yet I still believe these might be valuable ideas for anyone.
Here are our top five success principles:
1. TIME MANAGEMENT: OUR WEEKLY PLAN
The most significant and concrete tool that we have been using is our weekly plan. This one tool alone is the most significant factor for our success. It is a very simple tool with which you can plan your week and be sure you are going to the right direction. I introduce this magnificent tool for you in more depth on my blog next week.
2. SUCCESSFUL GOAL SETTING
Using the weekly plan begins with setting a goal. Our goals for near future are always realistic and we have a strong belief in our capabilities to achieve them. But in longer term we dare to dream big! This keeps our eyes and ears open for new ideas. For the first 4 years we have reached our goals for every year – and so has almost everyone in our team. This brings a positive feeling to the game!
3. RIGHT PEOPLE AND ENTHUSIASM
The famous author and researcher Jim Collins claims that right people are one of the most important things in any true success story. That is true at us as well.
We have an amazing team of people working to make our company, products and customers to excel. This is mainly because we are so enthusiastic about what we do. And we want to become better every day. We are committed to continuous learning and improvement.
Any person working for a company should be a person who is genuinely enthusiastic about the products their company is offering. One of the most significant things we look at when we recruit someone is that is he/she a person who buys our product him/herself. How can you promote or sell something you wouldn’t buy? Until now everyone who has started to work for us, has first been our customer. This proves they are really into the product.
4. SALES ORIENTATION
We have very unusual people in our team. They all have a very healthy relationship towards sales. It is not something that they avoid. They like it.
Every single one of us understands how important sales is for the company, for our products and ultimately for our customers. The sales person is the most respected individual in our organization.
Rewarding sales commissions
If there is something of which you have to be ready to pay well, it is sales. You have to make it rewarding and motivating. This is why all of our sales people are basically building their own business through their customers. A customer once made stays as a customer for the person who originally attracted him / her. And when customer satisfaction of a product is good and the rebuy rate is high, the sales work can be really rewarding. Our best sales people make already +100,000 euros per year. It is more than our founders and CEO do. I guess that is quite rare in any company.
5. GREAT PRODUCT
Our product is great. We LOVE it. And what is great is that our customers seem to love it, too. It is one of its kind in the Nordics and we have committed to making it better every year. Our customer satisfaction rate is extremely high (99,4 % say they would recommend to others). This has been crucial for our success. The second sale is the most important sale.
What you don’t find on my list is internet based marketing, social media and fancy websites. They have not been corner stones for our success, even though we certainly try to utilize them well. They are excellent tools, but everything begins with these five basic things. It is very hard to beat personal sales work as a marketing effort. Remember that.