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You Just Shouldn’t Be There: 12 Rules to Make Sure You Aren’t!

Every week of my life someone in a workshop, a discussion group, or a consulting engagement presents a question that sounds like this:

  • What would you do in this case?

Then, they tell me about “this case.”

Examples of “this case” might look like:

  • We have been pursuing this BIG client for 2 years and finally got on the “bid list” and just got our first RFP. We have promised to bid to show the suspect our quality and commitment, but we can’t make any money under the conditions of the RFP. So, “What would you do in this case?”

  • We have a great client that we have been working with for 3 years. It was a lot of work to get the client and over the 3 years, we have served them well — our contact loves our work. This is our second largest client. They keep us very busy and they use us a lot. The problem is our margin was set very low to get the work and we have not been able to increase the margin. The guy who loves us has to keep procurement happy and doesn’t have the power to pay us for the real value we bring. So, “What would you do in this case?”

  • We have spent a lot of money buying, installing, and training everyone on our new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. We designed the reports we need, we customized and developed the input screens, and we made sure the system worked on smart phones. Every day and every week, we get our people to put their information in the system. We can track every movement. We know when people are cold calling and we know how much networking they are doing. We have reduced the cost of mileage and increased the number of cold calls per day. The problem is we are selling less per person and our best two sales people are now working for competitors. I need to know, “What would you do in this case?”

These are just a few examples from a very long list. I am always surprised that the list gets longer (more creative ways to increase the "Cost of Chaos") and that so few people learn from the experience and keep doing the same things over and over again.

When I hear, “What would you do in this case?” most of the time my answer is, “I wouldn’t be there,” because I have 12 rules I live by:

  1. I won’t pursue a client (no matter how large) if they don’t value what I can do for them.
  2. I won’t pursue a client (no matter how large) if I am not talking to the Economic Buyer who experiences the problem I can uniquely solve for them.
  3. I won’t pursue a client whose “rules of engagement” (how they conduct business) do not match up with mine.

  4. I won’t work with a client who does not allow me to make a fair profit from my work.

  5. I won’t work with a client who does not treat me like a partner and connect me with their internal and external partners and peers that impact our engagement.

  6. I won’t work with a client who cares more about the price on the contract than the true cost and the benefits from solving the problem.

  7. I won’t spend any resource on structure (think CRM) unless it is aligned with my Revenue Strategy and the plan to implement the strategy provides enough leverage to justify the effort and resources.

  8. I won’t commit my resources to anything that is not aligned to my Revenue Strategy with a way to measure results and improve my profits over time.

  9. I won’t violate my principles or compromise my integrity!

  10. I will stop digging when I see I am in a dangerous or negative hole and not a gold mine.

  11. I will hold my team and my vendors accountable for all deployment plans based on metrics of the investment and resources (human, financial, time, etc.).

  12. I will be clear about my “True North” and expect everyone (internal and external) to align with that every time.

Revenue Science is simple. When you follow it, you will seldom ask, “What would you do in this case?” for two reasons. The first reason is because you just won’t be there — you will be executing a deployable Revenue Strategy (with metrics and leverage).

The second reason is: If you missed something and you are there, you know to “stop digging” and go back to the science (see reason one).

From now on, you will be the person who says, “I wouldn’t be there,” because you have 12 rules to live by. So, start now and never change.


Article written by Rick McPartlin

Rick McPartlin

As the co-founder and president of The Revenue Game, my mission is to help companies focus their organizations around the critical function of "revenue generation."

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