Earlier this month, Regency held its annual sales conference in Santa Barbara. Our leadership cherishes this event every year, as it gives us the opportunity to pour into our talented lighting experts, rally again around our values, and connect face-to-face with the vendors we’re privileged to do business with.
We host this conference year after year because we care about our customers and we care about our salespeople. It affords us opportunities to bond, collaborate, and slow down to approach our jobs more strategically.
Getting away from the daily barrage of emails, deadlines, invoices, and the like to zoom out and consider how we can better serve our customers –– even for just a few days –– allows us to refocus and take a fresh energy back to our work.
And after a record 2015 –– a year filled with more than its fair share of challenges and rapid growth –– the few days our team was able to share together in Santa Barbara were just what the doctor ordered.
Our theme this year was “Clarity.” With that, our aim was to start conversations about how we could sharpen our focus, growing in efficiency and excellence, in order to accomplish big goals –– whether in sales with Regency, at home with our families, or personally.
It became apparent over the course of our time in Santa Barbara what clarity means within the framework of our organization, and I’d like to think our sales team headed home as encouraged as I was, committing to clarity in these three key areas, among others:
1. Clarity in mission
We have always been dedicated to exceptional service to our clients. For us, that was a given. We want Regency clients to feel supported –– not burdened –– when they do business with us. And, yes, we want to strategize about how we can grow our organization, providing lighting expertise to as many customers and markets as possible.
Beyond that, though, there’s an underlying mission. We believe we have a responsibility to give back. We have some ambitious philanthropic initiatives in 2016, which are as good a motivation as any to do our jobs excellently.
A clear understanding of what we’re about and what we want to accomplish is critical to our success.
2. Clarity in identity
As a company, if we don’t understand who we are and who we aren’t, we’re bound to encounter unnecessary challenges. We’re best when we’re swinging at pitches in our wheelhouse, clearly knowing where we’re best and where we maybe don’t perform so well.
Clarity in this, once again, circles back to a focus on our customers. In Santa Barbara, we discussed how to focus on flexing our strengths and expertise and how to avoid engaging in opportunities that may result in a poor outcome for our customers.
3. Clarity in communication
Life’s relationships live and die with the flow of communication. Relationships with everyone from spouses and children to customers, employees, and vendors require careful, clear communication if we want them to thrive.
We asked ourselves six key questions around this topic to ensure poor, ambiguous communication weren’t to blame for souring relationships:
• Do I know what the other person’s needs and priorities are?
• Am I communicating my needs or desires clearly (not being vague)?
• Are we coming to an agreement on what might be fair and reasonable for both parties?
• Are the action steps realistic? Do we have the time, energy, and resources to follow through and implement this agreement?
• Is the agreement we have reached specific enough to proceed? Does everyone understand what we need to do and when we need to do it by?
• Have I put the agreement in writing so there are no misunderstandings?
Remaining cognizant of these questions is critical to mitigating against disappointment and the wide pitfall of insufficient communication.
After such a remarkable 2015 and such an inspiring conference, we’re back to work, focusing on how to bring more clarity to our day-to-day. We’re excited for what 2016 will bring.