Business Growth Ideas #297 This week: Talk to them, Why fit, Tools

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

  • During planning meetings certain issues have a way of derailing progress. At the start of a planning session, take a sheet of post-it tablet paper and label it, Issues. When the conversation is derailed, put it on the pad. Move on.
  • Journeys begin with a destination in mind. It may be specific, it may be vague, but it gives you a direction to start off in. When your client has a destination in mind it’s easier for you to work with, so focus on those outcomes.
  • Have a question about what your next best customer is thinking? Ask them. Pick up the phone and ask them to walk you through their thought process.
  • A conspiracy happening in sales cycles is spending too much time talking about the solution. You love your solutions because they’re yours. Clients love solutions because they don’t need to dig into objectives. Stay off the solution.

Being Human – Why FIT?

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” – Carl Jung

wrong size shoes(image via Philosiblog)

A friend and I are catching up on the world when he asks about my work. His questions are veiled but essentially what he’s asking me is, “Greg, why does anybody need this?” (FIT)


It’s easy to dismiss his comment because he’s not in my target market, but I’m sure he experiences or has experienced the downsides of a bad fit in his job. And the concept should be simpler than I make it.

Why think about fit?

  • Humans don’t do what they don’t want to do. If it’s uncomfortable, it takes a lot of effort for us to engage. On the other hand, if it’s something we enjoy it’s easy to get moving.
  • If an organization has too many business practices that their people don’t buy into, it stunts growth. It limits potential. It doesn’t matter if it’s an industry best practice if no one wants to do it. This friction holds the business back.
  • When you have a business practice you buy into, one that takes advantage of your strengths, it’s easy to get moving. When you get moving, it’s easier to build momentum. When you have momentum, internal motivation kicks in.
  • However, even with business practices that fit, if your people have no idea where the organization is going they get sidetracked. FIT as a concept helps with buy in.
  • With a strong sense of direction, members of the organization find it easier to say “no” to ideas and opportunities which may distract them from the goal. Powerful when tied to making progress.

So what do I do? Or more to my friend’s point, why does anyone need you for this?

  • I I.D. where fit is happening and not happening.
  • I push getting fit in place.
  • I keep the organization on track.
  • I reinforce the “no” decisions and stop bad actions.

I should just send him this newsletter. It’s a more lucid description than the one I gave at the pub.

Random stuff


“Many hands make light work.” – proverb

stipping done

Having the right tool makes a big difference in the outcome of a project. I say this to clients all the time. And ignore it in my daily life all the time.

Last fall however, I heeded my own advice and bought a fancy tool. Tools actually. You see, our little house is covered in cedar shakes like the kind you see on cottages in seaside resort towns. It’s not a popular choice for house siding in this area, however, and maintenance has been a challenge.

So I bought a tool to fix it. A grinder/sander combo thing to re-surface the shingles. Eat up all the old paint because it seems that painting cedar shake shingles is bad. (staining ok)

I hooked the tool up and went to town on a 10 by 10 section of the house. 1 hour later I stood back and took my progress in. The tool did just what it said it would do. It stripped the old paint, the sander smoothed the newly naked shingle. Exactly as advertised.

Based on that hour of work I figure it would take me something like 80 hours to do the job. I’m older and get achy, but if I do 1 hour a day for the summer, it’s done and ready for fall painting.

Around June I start calling painters. I haven’t made much progress beyond my 10×10 section. I demonstrate the tool and even get a few guys to try it. One said, “if I made my guys use this on your house, they’d quit.”

I try temp labor, “do you have scaffolding?” and even my handy handyman, “too much work.” I just need to buckle down and get to work. As Mary Poppins said, “Well begun is half done.”

Well, I’m happy to report the new siding on the house looks great. It took the guys about a week to tear the shingles off, fix the wood rot, and install some space-age cement kind of siding thing. I’m happy with the results.

I just sold the tool on eBay.


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