Getting your things done is the most important part of your job if it involves giving recommendations. It doesn’t matter how much you know about SEO, PPC or Web Analytics. If you can’t get your things done, you cannot impact the bottomline of your client’s business and without showing results you can’t retain your job/client for long.
The Harsh Reality of the Corporate World
When it comes to performance appraisal, no one remembers (or wants to remember) what went wrong. That your recommendations weren’t implemented on time or IT team was neck deep into some other tasks or….. All these genuine problems sound like excuses during the decision time (retain or fire). What decision makers do remember is that they have not seen anything coming out from you and now is the time to let you go.
This may all sound harsh and unfair but that is the reality of the corporate world. Businesses want to see results no matter what. This situation is pretty much the same in every company. So if you are thinking that by changing your job or dropping a client, you can escape from this situation then you need to wake up in my humble opinion.
Think like a Business Man
You will always get boss/clients who won’t listen or give priority to tasks other than yours. So it is up to us to get our things done or die trying it. The first thing that I would suggest is to start thinking and talking like a business man. Put yourself in the client’s shoe and look everything from his perspective.
Once you start thinking like your client, it will immediately broaden your horizon. You will start looking at the bigger picture. You will automatically start aligning your tasks/recommendations with client’s business goals. If the alignment is not proper than you will know that may be something is wrong with your recommendation. May be you need to review it.
When you think like a business man, you will think of making more money and reducing cost. This is going to be your top priority. You will ask yourself “How can I make more money next month” and not “how can I make more money in the next 6 months or in the next 1 year”. This type of attitude will force you to focus on low hanging fruits and immediate gains. This type of attitude will force you to start focusing on improving revenue and decreasing cost per acquisition right now. This type of attitude will force you to tie everything you do with the two most important metrics in the world: revenue and cost.
4 questions to make your Recommendations ROCK solid
Recommendations are everything in the world of business optimization and consulting. Your entire analysis has no commercial value if it doesn’t include solid recommendations because without solid recommendation it wont move the corporate needle. You need to ask yourself following 4 questions before you recommend anything to your client/boss/enterprise:
Q1. What is the upside potential of this recommendation?
If this thing we are trying is going to be a big win and if not then it may be not worth doing in the first place. For example if an analyst believes that a particular recommendation will improve orders from 500 to 800, then the upside potential is of 800 conversions.
Q2. What efforts are involved in carrying out this recommendation?
How much time and money it is going to cost. Who will be responsible for carrying out this recommendation and how exactly it will be carried out?
Q3. What is the likelihood of success?
Can we really carry out this recommendation and achieve the desired level of success within designated time frame or is it a farfetched dream? You should always strive to back up your recommendations with strong case studies. Use your competitors as example wherever you can to push your proposal. Businesses show great interest in what their competitors are doing.
Q4. What is the cost of delaying the implementation of this recommendation?
This is the most important question. All decision makers do their own cost benefit analysis (if you don’t present one) in order to prioritize their tasks and manage resources. People have millions of priorities of their own. Why they should give you work the top priority? Fear of loss is a great driving force so induce it wherever you can to push your proposal.
Any recommendation which doesn’t answer the aforesaid 4 questions would have hard time being carried out in any sensible business environment and in a reasonable amount of time. Consequently following recommendation is super lame:
“Increase Adsense revenue”
If you give a recommendation like this then it will most probably won’t be heard let alone being carried out.
Example of a ROCK Solid Recommendation
Increase Adsense revenue by targeting more non-branded keywords through SEO. Non branded keywords will bring new visitors to our website and according to our Analytics reports, new visitors generate more Adsense revenue than repeated visitors. Following is the list of non-branded keywords we should target in the next 4 months:
This task will improve AdSense page impressions on our website. The average AdSense eCPM of our website is $5.18. So every additional 1000 AdSense page impressions would generate $5.18 of extra AdSense revenue. According to my calculations, this task would increase the Adsense revenue from the present $125,000 to $375,000 in the next 4 months.
The predicted cost of delaying the implementation of this recommendation would be a loss of potential Adsense revenue by $X /day starting from the next month. The best department to carry out this task is our SEO department. The cost (variable cost) of implementing this task would be $0 as we have our own in-house SEO team available for this task and we don’t need any external agency help in this task.
This recommendation contains all the elements which a decision maker needs to think deep about your proposal and give your task the top priority.
Take Total Control
The second biggest issue in not ‘getting your things’ done is ‘lack of control’. You should aim to take total control of everything related to your task. You set the time to discuss your proposal. You tell others what things you need from them. You set deadlines and determine prioritizes. You can do all this by simply giving a solid recommendation like the one above.
If you don’t take control, others will and it will not always be in your favor. For example if you fail to mention the consequences of not implementing your recommendation on time then you left your task at the complete mercy of your client/boss. There is no urgency and your client can choose to implement your proposal next week or in the next 2-3 months.
Keep your excitement up and be persistent until your things are done. Often we show lot of energy at the beginning of presenting a proposal but when the recommendation started to get stale we lose our excitement and give up. It is during such time we actually need to show lot more energy than at the beginning of the recommendation process. We have invested so much time in coming up with our excellent proposal and getting a buy in and now we simply can’t afford to leave it at the mercy of others for completion.
Now it is your turn. How do you get your things done. Please share your experience and insight.