From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Succeed Before You Start

Am I making a difference to you and your company? In the last lesson you learned how to create more loyal happy customers without discounts or gimmicks. The truth is, tricks just don't work if you want customer loyalty, so don't waste your time.

Let's change gears a bit . . .

Today's lesson is going to implement business relationship principles, particularly what you must know before starting a new department or project . This lesson will impact your personal bottom-line and reduce job related frustration.

What am I preparing you for? Today's lesson provides you insights for improving your customer relationships group, sales or marketing team, or any other selling project you may participate in.

In the next lesson, you'll see the one thing a customer relations group should really do to generate sales and profits . You'll be surprised that you're not already doing it, but can easily start.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Ps. If this newsletter isn't exactly what you want, or not living up to your expectations, please let me know . How else can I help you create and keep profitable customers? What questions do you have about building profitable business relationships?

What You Must Know Before Starting A New Department Or Project

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

At the beginning of any relationship initiative, new department, or critical project you face two problems:

  1. How do you get the support necessary to be successful, and
  2. How will you be compensated for this new responsibility?

You might think these questions would be more oriented to with the individuals you serve, but isn't it your career that is on the line? Admit it; these are the FIRST questions you should ask.

After all, you'll be required provide value in exchange for the resources you'll consume, and get something for your efforts. Project planning requires some give and take.

Successful sales and marketing managers consider what's in it for them before they get start traditional project management because it increases the commitment to revenue objectives already on hand.

Plus, truth be told, no one does anything in business without cause and compensation.

Unfortunately, you might be one of those under appreciated souls working harder for less than they deserve. And, what if you're the owner . . .

These two questions aren't just for you; they are for each member of your staff. You'll need resources to reach the forecasted project outcome, and those resources need motivation and justification for taking action. Give your department or project purpose from the start.

Only after you've identified the interest of your team, should you move along to the traditional project management considerations. Why are you putting "your" interests before anyone else's when setting up a new department or project?

No matter how altruistic, no matter the value to customers, no matter the conditions of a market; there are certain political and resource considerations inside your company that must be aligned for this endeavor to even have a chance.

Your Project Is Competing For Resources And Attention

Have you ever seen a "pet project," producing nothing, but still funded year after year? It should have been killed years ago, but hasn't, because senior executive so-n-so has really bought into the concept -- great once but never reevaluated for relevancy.

A second scenario that is all too familiar. Do you know someone allowed to run with a great idea, gathering more responsibility by default, but isn't so excited about creating results anymore? Compensation doesn't follow an increase in responsibility unless it's part of the original deal.

If you think about it, you'll run out of fingers and toes counting instances where someone is made miserable working with both a deficit of resources and a lack of compensation. Not because they didn't deserve it, but because they didn't ask for it when planning the project.

You'll be measured by reaching the forecasted project outcome, your project management skills, and return on capital invested. That's a lot of pressure, even worse when you don't have the resources or compensation for your team's efforts.

Advocate For Your Entire Team During Project Planning Not After

As a manager, it's your responsibility to look at compensation from both sides. Don't take advantage of an employee's eagerness to impress you, under the fantasy of advancement. It just hurts long-term productivity. Instead, plan compensation upfront using performance milestones tied to project objectives.

Yes, there are other project performance areas to consider, including core project management objectives, but miss these two questions only if you want to fail before you start.

Use the time tested sales tie-in, "If I can, will you." If you can create the desired objectives, will the company provide the resources and compensation for the objectives desired. Are you looking out for your team (and you) with a relationship based project management plan?

© 2006 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ management-strategy | employee-relations /

# # #
Inside Strategic Relations is for Sales and Marketing Management who want to turn business relationships into profits. Members read past issues at

Thank you for passing this newsletter to your staff and associates.

Home | Featured Articles | Glossary of Terms | Subject Index | Site Map | Editorial Calendar | About us | Contact us

Center for Strategic Relations, Dept IUN,
1123 Spruce St #3123, Martinsville, VA 24115-3123

24-Hour Phone/Fax Hotline: +1 (276) 254-8747

© 2001-2023 JWH Consolidated LLC dba Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Sitemap.