06 March 2006

Please don't change the status quo!

Last year Chris and I met a talented business owner who had developed an interesting software package with applications throughout a client organisation. The problem was that the business didn't have an effective way of getting the product to market. In discussions with the owner, we all agreed that the current sales channel model was broken and that a new sales approach was needed to take the business forward and reduce its dependence on its existing client base.

We went back to the office and thought about it - and tested our ideas on Phil. We developed a radical proposal but we were confident that not only could it work, it would work. Better, it wouldn't cost the business owner a penny and it would put cash into the business. The proposal failed. The channel model was too different from the broken model that the business was currently using. The owner's counter proposal was that we should help the business to strengthen the existing channels by recruiting more people to sell the product. We declined.

We know that the customer is always right, but in this case we didn't see how recruiting more people into the existing channel would do much except waste money and time. It has to be better to walk away rather than sign up to do a project that you don't believe in.

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