Change Leadership Secret – 100 – Building Value Takes Time

Change Leadership — Secret # 100
Building Value Takes Time

He that can have patience can have what he will.
—Benjamin Franklin

What I Need to Know

Would you like customers to go ahead and place the order today, rather than next week, next quarter, or next year? Do you wish you were a bulldog salesperson who could tug the order through the customer’s approval process now, rather than at the customer’s seemingly excruciatingly slow speed?

One of the biggest mistakes executives make is attempting to accelerate the buying cycle faster than the customer’s natural pace will allow. The situation is similar to swimming against a current where despite your best efforts, you do not move very far ahead. On the other hand, if you swim with the current, at the customer’s pace, you can get a much better result with fewer resources.

There is a more fundamental dilemma, though. As always, everything has a cost. The cost of building high value is that it requires more time. Conversely, the cost of going after quick business is that the margins will be lower and there will be more competitors. You didn’t think you were the only person wanting a quick buck, did you?

So, you are faced with what might be called the “Salesperson’s Dilemma”: Should you take more, lower-margin, more competitive, faster-closing deals? Or should you take fewer, higher-margin, less competitive, slower-closing deals? Only you can answer that. But, two things are certain: (1) building more value takes more time than building less value, and (2) you are reading the wrong book if you want to quickly close low-margin deals—you should be learning about Internet marketing instead of change-centric selling.

What I Need to Do

If you are a salesperson wondering why you care about high margins versus low margins, the answer is your commissions ultimately come from the margins. Companies that are not profitable after paying their salespeople eventually must find a lower cost sales channel or they will go out of business. Either way, you will be getting unemployment checks instead of commission checks. So if you want fat commissions, you have to generate fat margins.

The really great thing about pursuing the path of building high value is that you eventually reach a tipping point where you (a) have developed a track record of high-value delivery and (b) your resources are fully utilized on high-value deals. From that point forward you become resource constrained, rather than order constrained. You will literally be booking business faster than you can deliver it, which enables you to cherry pick the highest margin opportunities. Your profits will start soaring!

Of course, that all takes time. Just take it one step at a time…and you’ll get there.

Action Summary

  • Follow the natural pace of the customer to get the biggest order.
  • Increase your value delivery over time.
  • Be careful not to tie up resources with low-margin business.
Change Leadership Secret - 100 Building Value Takes Time
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