Dodgy Plumbing and Leaking Pipes
There is a chapter in my book dedicated to dodgy plumbing and leaking pipes. We recently went through a total rebuild of our house mainly because of an internal guttering system that failed miserably but also because some of the plumbing in the three month old house was dodgy.
The irony was that everything on the outside was shiny and new, but it was only after some time and a lingering smell of mould that we started investigating only to find out that some of the plumbing was installed incorrectly and leaking internally.
This experience drew me to parallels we have with ‘plumbing and pipes’ in our business development programmes.
In business we want the silver bullet, the quick fix or the band-aid solution that brings money in the door. The path of least resistance.
Let’s face it, if we were able to gain new customers without going through a relationship building phase, we would embrace it fully. With business development there is no shortage of budget allocated to lead generation, sales processes and systems and in smaller businesses bringing in experts to learn more about lead generation.
However I observe that often ongoing measurement and accountability structures are left out at the integration phase. This gives rise to ‘leakage’ in the business. The business development programme is like the plumbing plan and the sales team are like the pipes so if they are not aligned the result is severe leakage throughout the business – from cash-flow to customer service. Further more, to the outside world it can all be looking great. But behind the wall lurks some nasty truths.
SO how do you know if your business development programme is working?
1. Is there clarity around the message to market and your target profiles?
2. Do you know what is motivating you to bring in new business?
3. Have you shifted what’s in the way? This is critical because what’s in the way is in the way until you shift it. Sounds easy. Commitment is key to the success.
4. Is the programme or expert actually changing the behaviour of the person or team to have them want to commit to the success of the programme? The key message is teams want to commit versus having to commit. It’s great to have good systems and a good plan but if the commitment is not there who knows where the water will go.
5. Focus on what’s going down the pipes and systems of business development and identify where the leakage is – it will be easy to find once you focus on it.
One thing I can assure you from our house experience is that all leakages left untouched get bigger and bigger and one day for sure, the pipes will burst.
SO it’s really your choice. Is it time to shift the dodgy plumbing and leaking pipes?
As always love to hear your thoughts so leave them here.
Until next week