Beyond the Horizon


Happy New Year!

Let me begin the year on a cautionary note>

Way back in 2009 I was visiting with a senior executive at one of the largest airlines.  Recall this was during the “great recession” when the economic uncertainty abounded.  I wondered, “…what sort of ‘research and development’ are you conducting?”  I ordered another drink with his answer: We don’t do any!”

Maybe he was being flippant or being coy, but my takeaway was this multi-billion-dollar major U.S. employer was committed to their existing paradigm come hell or high water.

Sound at all familiar?

This brings me to a more recent email exchange with a respected publisher of a well-regarded newspaper company – we were “discussing” a genuinely unique innovation which has modest, but real start-up capital requirements, yet would ultimately generate an estimated $3,000,000 worth of annual business subscription revenue - he responded, “…corporate expectations surrounding our operations simply do not allow for R & D.”  (By the way, that $3M represents an increase of approximately 30 – 35% above their total revenue at a very high margin!)

In a similar vein, in preparation for a launch, I asked a new client, “…what are your prospecting expectations? 

  • Do you require sellers to approach a certain number per day/week/month?
  • How do you attempt to engage those prospects?  Using what tools or resources?
  • Is there a standard or recommended start-up or introductory package or offer?
  • Etc.

Imagine my surprise to learn they Do Not systematically prospect.  Rather, their entire focus is to retain the customers they have.  He specifically told me, “…our goal is to be sure customers agree to at least what they did last year!”

By no means does a sample of TWO represent our industry, but if this unenlightened thinking of “no R&D” and “no prospecting” is at all typical we’re in HUGE trouble!

Let’s be crystal clear:

  • Without prospecting, businesses die.  It’s that simple.
  • If the only focus is the status quo, your future is not just bleak, it is non-existent.

I promise the next 11 installations of this enewsletter will be more upbeat and optimistic and very much look forward to sharing those.

Happy New Year to all!

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