Mike Gomez, President of Allegro Consulting has 15 years experience consulting private businesses in growth, sales, and marketing. He joins ASBN today to discuss the 3 most common errors he sees businesses make and how to solve them. Mike believes that defining a plan for your business, knowing who you created your business to target, and having a defined sales process will improve your business health by the close of 2018.
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Joe Gumm: Welcome to the Atlanta Small Business Show here on ASBN. I’m your host, Joe Gumm. We certainly appreciate you joining us, and we say Happy New Year. All right, today’s guest is the President of Allegro Consulting, and for more than 15 years, he’s been helping privately held businesses and non-profits in Georgia to grow by addressing those elements that directly address growth. Mike Gomez, we appreciate you joining us. Thank you for taking the time, sir, and happy New Year.
Mike Gomez: Happy New Year to you too.
Joe Gumm: Okay, so a new year, a fresh start for small and large businesses. Obviously, Atlanta is a hotbed for business growth, so of your 15 years consulting for privately held businesses, Mike, what would you say are the three things an owner can do dramatically this year starting now, to get their business back in shape on a path for growth?
Mike Gomez: Three things that will have the most impact on a business to turn themselves around, and make them healthy, and they feel proud about, and they can actually predict what the outcome is going to be at the end of the year is one, as an owner, your obligation is to paint a picture of what you want your company to look like two years from now.
Mike Gomez: Now, what I’m talking about is that word that most business owners hate, and it’s called, “Planning.” Defining a plan. Now, it’s amazing, we will get in our car, we will know exactly where we want to go, what time we want to get there. The only thing that we’re debating is how we get there, and whether or not the car needs any maintenance before.
Mike Gomez: Yet we will run our businesses without a plan. 90% of privately held businesses are operating without any plan at all. Now, it’s stunning, but you want to find something that will singularly change the outcome of the way you’re running your business, get a plan, and let that plan be the guide for how you grow the business, and lead it to that destination that you’ve defined.
Mike Gomez: I’m talking about a plan that defines what you want your sales to look like two years from now, what you want your people to look like two years from now, what you want your operation to look like two years from now, and what you want your marketing to look like.
Mike Gomez: Two, know specifically who you created your business to target. You created your business to solve a problem for somebody. Know who that person is, or that demographic is, and then make sure that everything that you’re doing in the way of marketing speaks directly to that individual. There’s a tendency to want to broaden your audience for fear that if I only talk to this demographic, then I might be losing business opportunities over here.
Mike Gomez: I will argue, given the limited resources and people that typically reside in a small to mid-sized business, that you’re better off laser focusing those people around a very specific target. The analogy I like to use is the target in a bow and arrow range. Do you know what the demographics are of the bullseye in clear and precise language, and does everybody in your company know that?
Mike Gomez: If you do, and you take your bow and arrow, guess what you’re aiming for? All that energy is going to try to get that arrow to hit that bullseye. The nice thing about that is, is if you define that bullseye and you miss, you’re going to miss not by very much. You’re still likely going to be earning a client.
Mike Gomez: The worst thing to do is not have a target at all. By the way, I’ve seen a lot of companies who have no idea. There’s no target, they just give their sales people a bunch of arrows and they say, “Go out there and shoot something.”
Joe Gumm: Oh boy.
Mike Gomez: Yup. The last thing I think that you can do to dramatically change your outcome and the health of your business is have your sales people following a defined sales process. Don’t leave it to the individual sales people to bring their own individual techniques into your business, and apply their personal techniques to selling your product and solution.
Joe Gumm: Okay, elaborate on that, because I’m sure you have several examples of asking people, “What is your sales process?” And they just threw out something crazy.
Mike Gomez: Yeah, let me tell you a great story. I went to a small business, and it’s about a mid-size business, and I went on a factory tour. The owner, very proud of the factory layout that he had, and we spent 45 minutes walking through each station of the factory, and he told me in excruciating detail what that machine does, how much it cost, how many pounds of pressure it puts on this, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, and all the way to the end and how the outcome of the product.
Mike Gomez: I said, “Well, that’s a great demonstration, and I’m very impressed. Now tell me, how do you sell it?” He looked at me and goes, “Well, what do you mean?” I go, “You just gave me a 45 minute detailed explanation of how you make it, now tell me how you sell it.” “Well, that would be Bob.”
Mike Gomez: “Let me see if I got this right. If unfortunately, Bob stepped in front of a truck, and therefore, had to be replaced by Sally, and I came visiting you that next week, you’re going to tell me that your new sales process is called, ‘That will be Sally?'” He looked at me and he goes, “I see what you mean.”
Mike Gomez: Look, it’s our job as owners of our business is to understand how best to move a client from a prospect to a customer, and to teach our sales people that this is how we do it in our business. We do it this way every time, and when we do it this way every time, the outcome and the win rate reflects.
Joe Gumm: Some would say social media obviously has been hot the last five to 10 years. How does that though, play a role in how you speak to the businesses that they’re trying to serve, the people they’re trying to serve?
Mike Gomez: All right, so a distinction between marketing and sales. Marketing’s role in a business is to attract qualified prospects. Who do we want to make that phone ring? Who do we want visiting our factory or store?
Mike Gomez: Incorporate into marketing social media, and your logo, and your website, and all those activities. The question is, is how are you deploying your social media to communicate your message and your distinct value proposition, or what makes you different than the alternative choices that your customer may have?
Mike Gomez: Now, not all social media is necessary or required by businesses. I was at an event, and a supposed expert in social media was advising this HVAC repair business owner. He says, “Oh no, no. You need to have a Twitter account, and you need to have a Facebook page, and you need to have a Snapchat, or you need to have this.” I’m going, “Really?” Now think about that.
Joe Gumm: Crazy.
Mike Gomez: This guy’s job is to repair air conditioners and heaters in homes. What is he going to tweet about? Do you really think home owners are going to say, “You know what? I need to fix my air conditioner. Let me go to my Twitter site to find out who best to do that.” That would be a waste of this guy’s time, and energy, and resources.
Mike Gomez: My message to the audience is this, social media is a marketing function. Decide how best to communicate to the customer that you’re targeting, and what means are best to do that, and to use the very aspects of social media where they’re best at that kind of type of communicating. Be sincere about your web presence, and if you are, Google will love you.
Joe Gumm: All right. A/C near me. Instead, we’re going to Snapchat, my teams are going to Snapchat their followers to find the best-
Mike Gomez: It’s crazy.
Joe Gumm: Yeah, he’s been helping companies that have Bobs and Sallys for more than 15 years. It’s Mike Gomez. He is the President of Allegro Consulting. Mike, we appreciate you joining us here on the Atlanta Small Business Show. Come back and see us sometime.
Mike Gomez: Any time. Thank you.