Our guest blog post this week comes from Michael Pearce, founder of Focused on Revenue, a firm that transforms sales teams and accelerating revenue.
On a recent dive I was struck by the similarities between diving and business today. May sound like a stretch to you, but stick with me for a moment. As I dived down to a moderate depth of about 75 feet, it all seemed quite tranquil and similar to any other dive, just as business does when all seems to be going well and we operate a bit on auto-pilot. There were eels, big ones and small ones, some more fearsome then others. Just like our competitors, we tend to worry ourselves about their actions and if they can do us harm, but mostly its wasted effort. They really aren’t as big a threat as we think. Then the three of us came around a large piece of coral and were suddenly face to face with four sharks. It’s just the way competition happens, all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, our tranquil business world is shaken up by a predator/competitor, anxious to take market share and not concerned in the least about the very viability of our company. Quick and decisive defensive action put us out of any harm we might have faced, and it turned out the sharks, while potentially dangerous, were really a bit shy and timid themselves and had moved away from us just as we were moving away from them. Competitors are often the same, they seem a lot worse then they turn out to be. They often aren’t as strong, well run or organized for battle as we thought.
And then just as suddenly there we were, right in the middle of what seemed like an aquarium, fish of every shape and size in front of us, below us, above us, everywhere we looked were beautiful fish, innumerable in their differences. All fish, but all very different in color, behavior, and actions. Some were inquisitive and came right up to us, some were wary, watching us as we moved toward them, some were skittish, and darted off the moment we got too close. Just like customers. We tend to think of them and plan for them and try to address them treating them all the same. But just like the fish, they are all very different and need to be treated uniquely.
It’s a beautiful world down there, full of the unknown and unfamiliar, with plenty of risk that can be mitigated only through thorough planning, preparation and training, and when done correctly, the rewards are memorable. And as I said, it acts just like the market in many ways, the lessons are clear, now to remember them!