Business Growth #324 – This week: Smart people, Simple stuff, Gladys

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • While developing an opportunity we’re concerned with its size, importance, and urgency. If it’s big the first question we should ask is, “what has stopped this from being done?” (if it’s a future opportunity ask, “what would prevent this?”)
  • After reading way too many books on decision-making one piece of advice sticks with me. When making a personal decision of consequence, imagine you were advising a friend. What would you advise them to do?
  • Hiring smart people and finding a place for them inside your organization works. One reason is because it lets you both come to agreement on FIT versus letting pre-determined solutions to problems rule the day.
  • Your organization can have a bad culture and still be a profitable business. The key isn’t whether it’s a good culture or bad culture, but whether the culture is adaptable. Conditions change. If your culture can adapt it will survive.

Being Human – It’s really pretty simple

“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” – Albert Einstein

Far Side Gary Larson Dogs

This week I am deep into a knowledge transfer session when the business development person slowly shakes their head. I ask what’s wrong, and he says, “This is way too much. It seems like overkill.” We’re talking about making sure the opportunity is real. It’s a lot of questioning and presented in one sitting sounds like a crazy conversation.

The process is really pretty simple:

  • What are the business issues the solution is solving or is supposed to solve?
  • How do you know it’s an issue, today?
  • How big is the issue?
  • How will you know it’s solved, tomorrow?
  • If it’s solved, who wins?
  • Who, or what else, in the organization does this issue affect?
  • If the issue is big and pressing, what has stopped it from being fixed?

There’s a lot to unpack in these half-dozen-ish points, but if you get good at it two things happen.

One is the size of opportunities goes up.

Two is the prospect’s understanding of the opportunity crystallizes and there’s more urgency to fix it.

The way I know it’s happening is I see more than one number in a proposal. There’s always going to be an “Investment” number, but if the opportunity is developed correctly I will see the “Return” on that investment inside the proposal too. And isn’t it true that in order to calculate a proper ROI we need both?

Good stuff.

Random stuff


“There are two possible situations – one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it – you will regret both.” – Soren Kierkegaard

gladys kravitz bewitched

Part of our house is going under construction. This remodel impacts my office space, forcing me to visit other areas of our tiny château to do my business. It turns out I have a lot of books. My lovely bride has even more. I knew this at some level, but when one has to hoof up and down a set of stairs moving said books, the idea goes from concept to solid matter.

As if to add insult to my developing injury, halfway through the move a book addressed to her is delivered. I growl and put it aside only to find out a few minutes later it’s a birthday gift I ordered for her.

Forgot that bit.

The cats love the movement because: boxes. The dog is getting stressed, and I expect a skin condition is in his future. Otherwise, it’s 60 to 180 days of discomfort. Less time that it takes to grow a baby, to put it in perspective.

My new desk area will be in the dining room. There is a nice bay window there, and I can play Gladys Kravitz to the neighborhood. When the old retired guys come shuffling by asking about this or that, I’m going to jump right in. “Huh. Things must be going pretty well for the Millers. That’s the third delivery truck this week.” or “The Johnson’s have some company from Minnesota. There’s been a new car in the driveway. Must be their kids.”

This morning another realization hits me. As I sip my coffee and watch the nice old lady with the chocolate lab stroll by, I remember the windows. They are two-way. I can see her, she can see me. I’m standing in my pajamas. Most days start with me in pajamas. I sit down and get to work. If I don’t have a morning meeting, it may be lunchtime before I am presentable. Sitting in the back room, this is not a problem. The front room is different.

I am going to have to alter my routine, I think. I mention this to my bride, and she says, “The bush will bloom any day now and no one will see you.”

A good point. Unfortunately this means my Gladys days are in jeopardy too.

I already kind of miss my future retired old man visits.


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