Make less sense and someday make more cents…

Way back in the day, I had the privilege of leading a sales organization that grew from 50 people to 650 people and from 50mm to 1 Billion. We grew organically, period. We acquired one company, ANS, I believe was it’s name and messed it up so badly that all the sales people went elsewhere as did the revenue. I’m sure we made plenty of other mistakes. Here’s what we did well. We built loyal customers. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. It is not. First you must recruit, attract, and retain great talent and great character. Second, you must fire all your top producers that have great talent and zero character. Few leaders have a strong enough CORE for two much less for number three. Most leaders break out in hives when they hear about three – it sounds too much like free.

Here’s three and it is free. Develop the discipline of putting out great work and not making your customers pay for mistakes. Notice that I did not say your mistakes or their mistakes. Think “adding” here with few exceptions. “But that’s not fair,” your normal mind is gonna scream. Shouldn’t they pay for their mistakes? Shouldn’t we simply hide ours? Isn’t this just how business is done? The smart ones get ahead the weak ones get exploited…

I drove our CEO’s crazy, back in the day, because I gave out credits like candy. I made sure our sales teams told our customers why we were doing it. Here’s what happened. They told their friends about this cool company that does business in ways that make no sense They’re friends called us. Funny, huh.

Make sure you are producing great work. Take on projects that are beyond your teams strength. Make the team stretch and reach. The struggle is where strength is built, remember. And, do not make your early adopters pay. Make your pricing straight forward and unmistakable. Make it stupid simple. Tell your customers when they are making mistakes and even more importantly when you and your team are. Do not make them pay. Makes no sense, but makes perfect cents – just not right away. Good.

Or, you can keep doing what you’re doing. Continue to follow your transactional model. Some company will keep buying your good work. You won’t go out of business, most likely. Some company will write you a check. Some company will transact with you and with some others. Today, these kinda transactional customers will transact with you. Tomorrow, however, when cheaper are offered around your corner, they won’t remember why they choose you in the first place. Tomorrow, they won’t remember. Remember your customers are humans. Stop hiding the facts. Stop hoping they won’t notice. Stop making sense and,someday, they’ll remember – You.

Make less sense and someday you’ll make more cents. Good…

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