Thursday, April 15, 2010

How many companies do you work at?

I listened to a group of employees describing their clients, their business and relationships.

Several said things like:

"We make our client's lives easier."
"We really get stuff done quickly.
"We're the most convenient option for customers."

A small group of others said,
"My clients look to me as an expert, they view me as their partner."
"We bring great ideas that the client never would think of."
"We help customers grow their business and be more profitable."

The above comments were from the same corporation, yet there were really two companies described: a nice, friendly, order-taking company and a pro-active, strategic company.

What can be done? First, identify the different companies within your corporation and name each of them. For example, the order-takers might be called The Utility Company (they supply the energy that is needed, no more, no less and are taken for granted). The strategic company might be called The Extension (this group acts an extension of the client's company, acting and thinking on behalf of the client).

Second, identify the contribution that each of these companies make to your corporation. My bet is that your corporation makes the bulk of its growth from The Extension, the proactive, strategic company. It gets most of its headaches from The Utility Company, the order-taking company.

Third, identify what portion of your employees work for The Extension versus The Utility Company.

Now, you have a decision to make. Migrate the corporation to one company, or allow the two to fight it out for resources, clients and your focus. Another thing to keep in mind is to look at how you originally got your clients. Which company was responsible? Sometimes we bring in "The Extension Company" and the client falls in love, then over time without any of us realizing it, "The Utility Company" takes over.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond
LaBov Sales Channel
PB&J Newsletter

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