How many of you have gone out in the last two weeks and purchased the Encyclopedia Britannica? My guess is none of you. And if you did, it’s now only available in the software version. But why buy it at all when you have Google for free? And, how many of you have bought a roll of film lately? How can you? Everything is digital.
I think it’s pretty clear that one of the biggest challenge companies face today is keeping up with change. Change in technology, change in laws and regulations, and responding to how quickly things become obsolete. Obsolescence is directly proportional to the rate of change. And change is occurring exponentially with greater innovation.
Yet many clients are resistant to change! Why is that? Is it the cost? Is it the potential for a disruption in the day-to-day business? Is it jeopardizing their clients?
I was on a sales call with one of our sales executives who was asked a very valid question by the client, “Who’s your biggest competitor?” “Complacency.” Wow – that’s probably the best answer I ever heard! And, it’s so true!
Complacency is being satisfied with the status quo. It’s business as usual. When a company is too content, it can lead to a company’s obsolescence.
There are three questions to ask when working to overcome a client’s complacency.
The first question?
“What is the impact of not making this investment?” Consider how will it impact your clients, market share and profit margins.
Can you imagine being in business today and not having a website? Unless you’re as popular as Apple, how would you be found. I’m amazed that I still get the printed Yellow Pages at my doorstep! Yet, for decades it was the source when shopping. 15 years ago speakers like me were able to function with only a bio and a video demo. Today everything is online. Everyone must have a strong digital presence just to be found.
The second question?
“What is the risk of doing business as usual?” What is your competition doing to gain on you? Back 20 years ago Blockbuster owned the market for movie rentals. Today, they don’t exist, thanks to Netflix. They didn’t keep up with the technology. Same thing with Nokia. Apple, a computer giant, decided to get into the phone business with smartphones and left Nokia and others in the dust.
The third question?
“What advantage might your competitors gain if you don’t invest in technology, supply chain or employee engagement?” Think about how your competition can gain market share.
Look at the impact Uber has had on the taxi business even though they don’t own a single cab. Or think about Airbnb that is now the largest hotel company in the world and they don’t own a single piece of real estate? Perhaps hotels and taxi drivers became complacent?
There is no doubt that when you’re selling to clients that are hesitant, your best approach is to ask, “What is the risk of doing nothing?” That question should open a fruitful discussion on how your solution can be a benefit in this very competitive day and age.