Have you ever played a sport, or watched a sport on TV, or even live or in person? One of the key elements of every single sport is that you’ve got to follow through. In other word, when you run up to the ball to kick it, you’ve got to follow through. When a golfer lines up for the perfect shot, they’ve got to follow through. The point is this: the follow through is the most important part of any swing, or any kick, or any throw. It’s the follow through that helps guide the ball into the net, or into the cup, or down field to the waiting player, or across home plate.

The same holds true in business. In fact, it’s even more critically important in business, because this is where most brands fail. A lot of brands unfortunately believe that once a distributor picks up their product, or once a broker gets involved, then their job is finished. They can go back to making more product for the next time the distributor shows up, or whatever. Nothing could be further from the truth.

And while, yes, some distributors do a phenomenal job of getting the product to the retailer, and some brokers do a great job of getting the product onto the shelf at the retailer’s store, that’s not always the case. This is something that you don’t want to blindly entrust to anyone else. You need to keep checking on your brand on a regular basis to ensure that it’s properly merchandised, and that the way that it looks on the store shelf, or on the display, accurately represents your brand; what you want your brand to stand for.

So why does this matter, and why is it important to you? Remember that the most important thing is the way the consumer perceives your product on the shelf. You never get a second chance to disappoint a customer. From their standpoint, what is the commitment you, as a brand, has made to support them, to help them get the products that they want, wherever they shop?

Sometimes, the product doesn’t get rotated properly, or there are out of stocks, or not enough product gets ordered. On this podcast, I talk a lot about products being put in the wrong place when they get or gain distribution. Or a promoted product, whether it be a demo or just off the shelf, sells out, and then they’ve got nothing to sell, and the shelf is empty. This is where execution matters so much, and this why this episode, perhaps more than the other episodes, is so critically important. These are the simple things that every brand must do if they want to be around for a week, a month, a year, or even longer.

I tell all the brands that I work with that the selling extends well beyond after the consumer takes it home and shares it with their friends and family. It continues as they evangelize about the product, and it continues as they put the product on their list for the next time they go shopping. The shopper’s journey has changed, and shoppers today have almost virtually unlimited choices of where they spend their hard-earned money. It’s critically important that you make sure that wherever your product is sold, that’s it’s available. And that you help that retailer, whether it be an online retailer, or a traditional retailer, remain relevant in the consumer’s eyes.

This is why it’s critically important to make sure that everyone who touches your product is in lockstep, and they have the same passion and authenticity and enthusiasm as the founder does.  That anyone who touches your product has the same commitment to sales excellence; that it’s rotated properly, that it appears on every single shelf where it belongs; that it’s not misplaced, mislabeled, damaged in any way, shape, or form. That you can amply supply and support any promotion or any distribution you have. For example, getting into a store with a high volume, and you’re not prepared for it. This is why it’s so important for you to know your numbers. You need to know that if you sell your product at a 20 cent discount, or if you put it on a display, how much more product do you need?

That’s the topic of today’s podcast: execution. This is your roadmap for sales success. This will determine how long your brand will be around; a week, a month, a year, or a decade, or even longer.

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