What will you do different in 2012?

I asked that question in my last post. It's a pretty big question and, frankly, you may not know how to answer it. I can help you on that. I'm a consultant. That's what we consultants do.

First, I'm going to teach you how to tell a good consultant from a bad one. Bad consultants come in to your business, analyze the situation, and then tell you what to do. They may be very smart people. They may uncover a situation you were unaware of. And they may give you a great plan on what you need to do to fix things. But they're still a bad consultant, because too often they don't tell you HOW to execute the plan.

I sort of did that last week with you. I asked if you were happy with 2011. I sort of analyzed some possible reasons for being unhappy and then I told you what to do: Be Different. That's a great idea, isn't it? Sure it is, but HOW do you do that? I didn't give you that answer. That's bad.

This time I'll be a good consultant and help you start to answer that question.

Good consultants involve the client every step of the way. They have the client join with them to analyze the situation. Good consultants ask what the client sees in the analysis, then helps the client to see what he/she might have missed. Good consultants then ask good questions. Questions that not only help provide clarity, but also help the client to discover the correct plan of attack to fix the situation. By discovering the answers for themselves, clients usually understand how to execute the plan.

So, you're unhappy with 2011 and you want things to change in 2012? Let me start with six questions:

1. How many new prospects did you put in your funnel last year?

2. What did you do to generate those prospects?

3. What percentage of those prospects became new customers?

4. How many referrals did you receive from current customers?

5. What did you do to generate those referrals?

6. What percentage of those referrals became new customers? 

Now, as your consultant, I'm going to ask one more question…and it's a tough one.

Can you answer all of these questions? 

If the answer is no, then guess where you need to start? You need to start by developing a very real, implementable plan that is DIFFERENT from what you've done before. You need to fill the funnel with new prospects. And you need to fill the funnel with referrals. Both need to be done on purpose, proactively, and not be accident or luck. You must be able to answer these questions at any time.

What will you do different in 2012? This is a good place to start.