WHAT NEW WORDS OR BUSINESS CONCEPTS HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT RECENTLY?
The business concept that’s resonating for most of my clients right now is the idea of outsourcing talent. These days, when clients identify a need within their organizations, they’re trying to decide if it makes more sense to hire to fill the need or to rent that resource.
The big benefits of outsourcing are the almost-immediate short-term impact and the opportunity to figure out how that competency is going to work inside the organization’s structure. With benefit comes risk. The ultimate risk in outsourcing is that a company may not build long-term sustainability within the organization.
However, outsourcing works well for a number of situations—especially in areas of channel expansion, product development or new products in an area where a company is starting to build a base of revenue. With outsourcing, companies are able to spend less and get a higher level of specific competency to generate a level of revenue that creates long-term sustainability.
Outsourcing is not for everybody every time, but it’s a great option when a client needs to get the most impact on the short-term and realize the best of the long-term potential.
WHAT IS THE BEST BUSINESS LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED?
It’s kind of parochial, but the best business lesson I’ve ever learned is that I have two ears and one mouth. I should use them in that balance.
WHAT IS THE MOST FREQUENT QUESTION YOU’RE ASKED BY CLIENTS?
The question I hear most frequently from clients is “Why aren’t we growing?” It’s typically at a point of frustration.
My response depends on the situation and whether it’s a prospective or an active client. There are a variety of factors limiting clients from growing, including:
- Do you have the right product?
- Do you have the right customers?
- Are you able to clearly define and differentiate yourself from your competition?
- Are you aggressively working to get the most out of your existing customer base?
WHAT INSPIRES YOU ABOUT YOUR WORK?
That’s easy. I wake up every morning and have to the chance to do two things I’m passionate about. I get to invent the future, and I get to solve problems.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS SOCIAL MEDIA’S AFFECT ON THE WORLD OF SALES?
We are all bombarded with information today. Consumers have more information readily available to them to make good choices.
The real question is, “Do we make good choices?” From a selling perspective, I think the ability to target a message directly to the recipient is certainly better than it’s ever been — and will continue to improve. The interesting question is, “Do we take advantage of this new opportunity?” The answer is, “Probably not as much as we will.” Much of what we see and hear today is so customized to the recipient that it creates a whole new level of challenges for us from a selling perspective.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BUSINESS BOOK AND WHY?
My favorite business book is, without question, From Good to Great. It creates a very simple roadmap for companies to excel.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE OF BUSINESS LEADERS TODAY?
The higher you go up in leadership in an organization, the more pressure there is to deliver results and progress the organization. The greatest challenge, living in more elevated leadership positions, is to ask for help because so many perceive that request as a sign of weakness.
I believe the greatest challenge leaders have today is to know who to ask for help and when to ask for help. In most cases, we find that people finally end up asking for help when it’s far too late. The thing we’re learning over time is that the people who know contextually when they need to ask for help and who to ask for help are the ones we’re seeing with the greatest amount of success.
Here’s a perfect example, we have a client right now who walked into an organization and knew out of the chute that he was going to need a level of support and help to make that organization deliver a demonstratively different set of results. He knew it, reacted to it almost immediately. Now, he is going to exceed the expectations of the organization on what he’s been tasked to deliver because he was conscious enough to know, “I need help. Let me get some professional help. Let me get this thing before it gets me.” As opposed to, “I can figure this out.” And five or six months later, “Boy, I’m swimming with sharks now, and I don’t know who to ask for help.”
Leaders today have a big challenge asking for help. Seeking counsel is not to be perceived as a sign of weakness but actually can be translated into a sign of strength.