David A. Fields explains why some of the most promising opportunities fail to transpire into contracts, and what you can do to ensure a more positive outcome.
Your hard work on business development and some good luck resulted in big opportunities for your seed optimization consulting firm: potential engagements with Worldwide Walnuts, Paramus Pecan Co, and NoNutz.com all at the same time. But, somehow none of those opportunities blossom into closed projects. Why?
You may have a “Step 0” problem.
If you’ve read The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients, you’re familiar with the six steps to unlimited clients, starting with Step 1: Mindset and running through Step 6: Propose, Negotiate and Close. (If you haven’t read that book, go here, read this. Don’t pass Go or collect $200 first.)
It turns out that there’s a step before Mindset:
Step 0: Delivery Confidence.
If you aren’t confident that your consulting firm can deliver on a project, you will intentionally or unconsciously sabotage your business development efforts.
Your consulting firm’s Delivery Confidence wanes when you or your team members worry that you lack sufficient capacity or that your capabilities fall short.
A Step 0 deficiency is serious. Instead of winning the easy, NoNutz.com project and possibly cracking open the Paramaus or Worldwide engagements, you end up losing all three opportunities. That’s not good.
Your capacity concerns can be addressed with straightforward tactics, including hiring, delegating, streamlining and renegotiating. (You’ll find 11 capacity-increasing strategies in this article.)
Key points include:
- Questions to ask
- Confidence in delivery
- Increase capacity and capability
Read the full article, Step 0: The Prerequisite For Your Consulting Firm To Win More Business, on DavidAFields.com.
As we move towards the end of the pandemic and a surge in business, Geoff Wilson provides a post for leaders to help navigate the next economic journey.
We are in a world of opportunity and hurt. Demand is high, spirits (and prices) are up, and supply is constrained. What’s a leader to do?
When I was a young man I learned microeconomics on the back of a simple diagram with two lines…one for demand (always downward sloping) and one for supply (this one goes up).
Turns out, the microeconomists were right. Mostly.
We are living in a fever dream at the moment. It comes with the pleasure fog of rising demand for…well…everything as people regain the confidence that they can interact and transact with one another without threatening lives. It also comes with the tormenting nightmare of not being able to hire, source, or build the products and services that they need.
There’s plenty of blame to go around. The most plausible explanation is that we are simply mired in the midst of a massive supply chain bullwhip that is synchronized around the world for once. As positive and negative information trickles out across industry chains, individuals firms attempt to adjust…and they do so badly.
Add the labor-market distortions brought by extended unemployment benefits, extended school and family support organization closures, fear of the unknowns around coronavirus reoccurrence, and general inflation; and you have a multi-faceted political and commercial game that would make George R. R. Martin blush.
But all of this is couched, at least for the moment, within a massive environment of opportunity. Demand is popping for most of the economy, and poised to pop for much of the rest.
So (as I’m often wont to ask), what’s a leader to do?
Here are a few ideas.
Key points include:
- Prioritizing the opportunity
- Time to innovate
- Explore new supply chain structures and mechanisms
Read the full article, Revenge of the Microeconomist in the Real World, on WilsonGrowthPartners.com.
Robbie Baxter shares valuable advice on how to build and manage a network in a comfortable and authentic way.
A few years ago, my sister asked me to co lead a workshop to help a group of her fellow psychologists build their professional network.
Here’s how she opened the event: “I know most of us really don’t like networking, and I’m glad you’re here anyway. For most of us networking is worse than a sharp stick in the eye”
I heard murmurs of agreement and saw heads bobbing up and down. These people hated networking. But I came to learn that a big part of it was how they defined networking and the approach they believed they had to use to build and nurture their networks.
I have come to learn that for many people, networking feels inauthentic and cheesy, and seems to take them away from the real work of helping clients and doing the work.
And yet, your network can be a tremendously powerful tool in “doing the work” and your investment in building your network can be among the most authentic and meaningful parts of your day.
In my work building engaged communities and forever transactions for all kinds of organizations, I have spent a lot of time teaching people how to build their networks in an ethical and comfortable way.
Here are some tips that can help you build yours!
Key points include:
- Communication tips
- Strategies for segmentation
- Developing opportunities
Read the full article, 30 Days to a Stronger Network in 2021, on LinkedIn.
Amanda Setili was interviewed on the Quest for the Best podcast where she shared how to identify and act on opportunities in a fast-changing world for small business leaders.
I would have to say (I was inspired by) my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Tidwell. She grew up on a farm and she’d tell us stories about growing up on a farm and what it was like, and she had a great experiment that she ran with her kids every year, which was to take fertilized chicken eggs and put them in an incubator, and every few days we’d open one, just to see what the state of the growing chick was, and it was just a great example of, kind of running experiments, seeing for yourself, and just getting really immersed in the physical world of how things really work that really helped to foster my lifelong love of science and experimentation.
…I thought, when I was in college, that I wanted to work in R&D because I thought that was where you’d get to invent things and find new theories and things like that, and so my first job was at Kimberly Clark in R&D, and it did not suit me at all. It was interesting that your interest as a kid doesn’t turn out to be the correct direction to go, so after I had worked in R&D for a year and a half or so, I was just kind of thinking, ‘this is just moving to slowly’ and I’m spending too much time thinking and writing, and I want something more immersive, and luckily at that time there was an opportunity available to work in a production facility, a mill, so I moved there, working in a small town, in a mill for Kimberly Clark, and I just loved it. It was everyday something happening, working with a small team to optimize operations and develop new products, and there was never a boring minute at all.
Key points covered in the interview include:
- Agility as the ability to see what’s going on in the marketplace
- How marketplace changes create new opportunities
- Finding a way to create something good whatever changes
Listen to the full podcast, How to Take Advantage of Marketplace Opportunities, on myquestforthebest.com.
As more companies seek mega mergers to dominate the marketplace, a new alliance is going to revolutionize how you access your meds. Kaihan Krippendorff uses Amazon’s recent expansion into pharmaceutical distribution to illustrate the importance of proximity in expanding and improving business offerings.
If you want to predict the path of innovation in your industry, consider one unifying strategic concept: proximity. Introduced by innovation guru Rob Wolcott, proximity is the theory that the production and provision of value moves ever closer to the point of demand. Viewing your industry through this lens can reveal new opportunities, help you clarify where to focus your innovation efforts, and help you better anticipate which innovations will thrive and which will fall.
Consider TJ Parker, a second-generation pharmacist who came to realize the pharmacy industry was broken. Over the years, he observed how convoluted the experience was for patients, particularly those with multiple prescriptions, to get the drugs their health depended on.
Multiple prescriptions meant multiple trips to the drugstore. At home, they had to handle multiple bottles of drugs and keep track of how often they took each one (some once per day, some multiple times per day, others only on certain days of the week). They might sort the pills at home into pill organizers. But, still, the time and effort was onerous, resulting in low compliance and poorer health.
Key points covered in this article include:
- The pharmacy industry system
- The pillpack system
- The value of proximity
Read the full article, Pillpack, Proximity, and The Amazon Future of Pharmacies, on Kaihan’s website.
Amanda Setili was recently interviewed by Colleen Francis on LinkedIn Live where they discussed how the pandemic will improve certain areas of business for the employer, the employee, and the customer.
What a fun and thought provoking conversation with Colleen Francis today. We covered a lot of terrain, including:
– How having a diverse team makes you more resilient in the face of market upsets.
– 3 things you must do to maintain your team’s productivity and enthusiasm when times are tough.
– Six things that will improve as a result of the pandemic:
o How pricing will change
o Why customer-supplier relationships will change for the better
o What new business opportunities and white space will be created
o Why sales productivity and effectiveness will increase dramatically
o How video game companies will lead the way into new remote experiences for businesses.
o Why remote work is here to stay, and why it will improve our outcomes and lives.
– How comfort with uncertainty creates a lasting competitive advantage, now more than ever.
Catch the full interview, Six Things that may Change for the Better, on LinkedIn.
Barry Horwitz shares a recent post on how to deal with the current crisis and benefit from the disruption.
“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” — Stanford economist Paul Romer
Yesterday afternoon, I logged into what must be my 150th Zoom conference. What was once an occasional event has turned into a daily barrage of virtual backgrounds and unknowingly muted speakers.
Fortunately, it seems we are all getting better at this new reality.
Well, maybe not all of us. There is a regular participant in one of my standing group calls who, despite having been on many of these over the past several weeks, has not progressed in his ability to use the technology. For the duration of every call, he appears mostly offscreen and from far below, giving the rest of us either a view up his nose or of his ceiling (sometimes both).
Technological ineptitude? Maybe. But it struck me that perhaps he just has a certain expectation regarding the pandemic’s longevity.
In other words, if you believe that we will be in this situation to some significant degree for the next 18-24 months, then it is worth learning how to use Zoom effectively. If, on the other hand, you view COVID-19 as just a brief inconvenience, why bother?
Only time will tell which perspective is correct. But if you think, as I do, that it’s the former, it’s worth taking steps to position yourself and your organization as well as possible — now and for whenever ‘normal’ returns.
Three suggestions in that regard…
- Find the opportunities
- Support the transition
- Find ways to fail
Read the full post, With Crisis Comes Opportunity, on the Horwitz & Company website.
Alex Sharpe takes a look at where we are, where we’re going, and why history can help us identify possible opportunities.
The CORONA Virus is rocking our worlds – no doubt. It is a scary time with lots of uncertainty. Fortunately, times like this cause a disruption which also means opportunity. For many of us that is not easy to hear as we watch businesses struggle and industries change. It is even harder as we hear about the loss of life and we watch the stress placed on the healthcare system. Business owners and entrepreneurs are starting to ask questions like
‘What opportunities will exist that did not exist before?’
‘What voids can I fill for customers in a post-pandemic world?’
‘How do I keep my staff engaged if this goes on for another 2 months?’
‘I just started a new business. Should I stick with it?’
Spoiler alert, history tells us situations like this, afford a great opportunity.
Do not miss out. Opportunity is knocking.
Included in this article:
- Isaac Newton
- Warren Buffet
- Apple, Microsoft, Disney
Read the full article, Disruption – What a Great Time to Pivot, on LinkedIn.