The start of a new year gives everyone a reset button. Most people make personal resolutions that involve exercising more and eating better.
I am skipping those and I am making some professional New Year’s resolutions as a CEO.
1. Focus More on Sales
In any new business making sales and building revenue is the most important activity. Yet I don’t come from a sales background. In fact I’ve never done sales before this job. I never even had a retail sales job where I helped customers buy clothing or rang up customers on a cash register.
In public radio we didn’t have customers. We had listeners.
I’ve had a steep learning curve with sales, but now I feel confident in my ability to sell Listenwise Premium to district administrators and school leaders.
That doesn’t mean it’s my favorite thing to do. And it doesn’t mean I’m not good at it. In fact, I’ve learned I’m very good at it. I’ve made the majority of sales in our company to date. I understand what Listenwise features to highlight depending on what customers I’m speaking to. Are they interested in our supports for English language learners? Or in using public radio to bring relevance to their classrooms?
And I’m a good listener, which is key in sales. So this year, I resolve to embrace sales more.
2. Implement Shorter Meetings
My staff laughed at me when I told them about this resolution. I’m a pretty efficient person already, they said, and trying to become more efficient will be difficult.
But too many meetings hit the one-hour mark because we aren’t focused on the goals of the meeting and haven’t moved forward on these goals quickly and efficiently.
My COO has taught me to start every meeting with the statement: “The purpose of this meeting is to….” Now I want to add, “And we can accomplish this in 30 minutes.”
By condensing meetings I will have more time to devote to sales.
3. Put Energy Towards Building a Healthy Organization
I’ve written about this in a previous blog and this year I want to spend more time deliberately focusing on activities that will bring our company together around our common cause.
A healthy organization breeds a successful company. I will be looking for an organizational mentor and coach to guide me and my team.
I haven’t had much experience working in healthy organizations, so I know that building one without that road map will be difficult.
So these are my professional goals for 2017. Writing them down here will help me keep myself accountable and I’ll check back in with myself and you as the year progresses to see how it’s going.