2014 Future Forum

 Are your lights on yet?  You missed the Bill Alvarez performance

Let’s see if this blog can turn on some lights.

This year’s Forum for the Future was ill attended because it seems between Christmas and New Years, people shut off their minds and slip  into “coast mode.”  For CeI and the serious upward mobile entrepreneur and sales professional, that “dead week” is a great time to reflect upon what occurred during the year and what can be done to make the next year even more productive. This is why we  schedule the “Forum for the Future” during that week.

For the few who attended the impact was incredible.

The process of defining Goals, Objectives, Missions and Metrics for 2014 brought to the surface, arguably,  the two most important words of sales success, “BE REAL.”  This means BE REAL about:

  1. Your Market
  2. Your Attitude
  3. Your Products
  4. Your Organization
  5.  Your Value Proposition
  6. Your Investment of Time
  7.  Your Investment of Dollars
  8.  Your Skill Set for Micro-Marketing
  9. Your Skill Set for Professional Sales
  10. Your Skill Set for Relationship Development

The day before the forum, CJ Kagamaster and I defined her primary business goal for 2014.  This process brought to the surface the need for her to “Prove her Business Concept.”

We had previously determined that her being a “Good Witch” with “magic potions that make people feel and look younger in just 10 minutes” (Mary Kay products) would, by itself, not provide the income she desires through consumer sales.  In 2014 CJ will be the “Show Off Expert”, the person you consult when you want to “stand above and show what you love.”  During 2014 CJ will help those who want to show off their pride, their products, their services, their loves and all the other passions they have in life.  She has supplemented her Mary Kay product lines with “Ad Wear”- – clothes that dramatically display.

Meanwhile, CeI has initiated a more stringent qualification process for new strategic alliance program participants. Every NEW participant, as part of their enrollment process, will be required to complete a “Proof of Concept” for their business and the products and/or services they sell.  Because the majority of CeI’s income will be derived from a share of the INCREASED net sales revenue of our participants, we need to know that their business model is viable before they are accepted into a program that continues until they reach a net sales revenue increase of $100,000.00.

The Excitement That Comes From a Clear Plan

This new requirement, coupled with CJ’s 2014 Primary Business Goal, brought to surface her first objective under that goal; “Proof of Concept” for her business and new products.  CeI’s “Proof of Concept” Learning Unit (EMP-B-010) requires a detailed market study by product and market microsegment and a “disguised market test.”   Because this new direction and analysis surfaced through the planning process, CJ is very excited about 2014.

The Future Forum involves some very penetrating questions; questions that force participants to “BE REAL”.  Cindy Bender, Bill Alverez and Gene Lesman engaged with me in lively discussions.  We covered the challenges of the average Multi-level Marketing proposition, the need for an “End Plan” or “Exit Strategy” and the need for “Proof of Concept” analysis. 

Bill was the star of the Forum.  As we suggested some goals for each participant, Bill played devil’s advocate, questioning the logic of the direction, objectives and missions for the goals we were analyzing.  Bill is an individual who embraces his profession.  He makes it a point to continue to develop expertise in dry cleaning automation, materials, and processes.  He makes it a point to be continuously developing his micro-marketing and sales skills.  As a successful businessman, he brought a dimension of expertise that made the forum very effective.  Whatever discussion I started, he would clarify and enhance the explanation. 

For example, Cindy Bender, known as the “Credit Card Lady”, was queried about the trend of credit card processing.  Bill’s credit card processing is integrated into his point-of-sales system and, for this reason, he has no need, want or desire to have a separate credit card processing capability.  The questions I asked expanded into a discussion of the trend of retailers towards fully integrated point- of-sales systems, narrowing the market for separate credit processing solutions.  This trend will most likely continue, narrowing Cindy’s market.   The question was asked, “Instead of selling credit card processing, why not join an organization that sells “point-of-sales systems”?  The logic being that Cindy already has relationships with retailers all over Orange County. Transitioning these retailers to POS should be a “no brainer.”

Cindy indicated that her current company will soon launch a POS system of their own.  Additional penetrating questions brought to the surface an objective within her primary business goal.  

Objective: Become an expert on Point-of-Sales Systems for Retailers within a selected target market segment (benefits, functions and capabilities).

Metric: A Comparison Chart of the Total Merchant Services POS against the leading POS vendor within the target market.  The chart is to contain a listing of the top twenty benefits, functions, and capabilities.

Cindy now knows the first steps she must take to achieve a $100,000 net sales revenue increase in 2014.

What the Participants Took Away

  1. Definition of their primary business goal for 2014
  2. Knowledge of how to use the CeI GOMMs form to define, in detail, goals for the other six dimensions of their life.
  3. A list of objectives that must be achieved to reach their goals along with the metric (numbers) that measure the degree of success.
  4. A list of missions within each objective that must be successfully completed to achieve each objective.  Again, the metric (measure) of each mission was included.
  5. Knowledge of how to use “internal” and “external” resources to help with each mission.
  6. A clearer understanding of the challenges facing their particular business and a strategy for overcoming those challenges.

At Cannon eInstitute, we have created the 2014 Seminar/Workshop Calendar.  Another GOMMs workshop is not scheduled until late December of 2014.  If you would like to experience a Future Planning Forum in January of 2014, just click below and give us your reasons.  If we have sufficient interest we will schedule another 2014 Future Forum.  Who knows, we may have enough interest to invite Bill to participate in that forum as well.

Vote for a January Future Forum