There’s an old story about a captain on the night sea who sees lights on the horizon and radios the other vessel telling them to change course. After some heated exchange, the “other vessel” turns out to be a lighthouse, forcing the ship to change their course instead and now with much less time to do so. In business it’s possible to suffer the same myopic folly – Full speed ahead and damn the torpedos. The problem though is that the systems we use to try and predict what will happen are just systems! They are limited in helping us navigate because they don’t adapt. We must do the adapting, and we often must do it very quickly.
Change is Coming – Are You Ready?
I talk to sales people every day whose biggest issue is: “I need to get more new customers.” Most of these are people who have been in sales for a while. They have access to some great systems. They have a strong client base of existing customers. Why are they having such a hard time getting new customers? Is it because they need more systems to better predict what’s going to happen? Or could it be because their customer’s businesses are in a constant state of flux; their customer’s are facing change too, and trying to figure out how to adapt and stay profitable. They need to match their customer’s changing world with equally helpful adaptability.
Geared for Change
What’s curious is the disconnect between “typical” sales training offered by a company and the actual need for most sales people. Sure, sales reps need to know about product, they need to know their industry, their market and even trends in that market, but what if they were able to learn to get better at adapting quickly and helping their customers adapt more quickly? Wouldn’t that be a great differentiator?
Are You Helping Customers Adapt to Change?
- What is changing? What’s driving that change? Is it a lasting change?
- What’s really happening in your industry, with your customer, with their customers?
- What is the obvious thing that no one is speaking about?
- Have we developed an unhealthy dependence on something or someone?
- Are we in love with some idea or concept while everyone else has moved on?
- Will what we’re doing now be valuable and relevant in the years to come?
- How do we need to grow in order to thrive in the midst of the current changes?
- How will we measure the success of our efforts to adapt?
What other aspects of business need to be considered to help your customers adapt?