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  • Jerry Phillips

The Pace Of Play Can Be Frustrating

The pace of play is frustrating sometimes. Nothing happens at the speed we would like it to, or at least it seems that way. As an entrepreneur I don’t have a steady paycheck. As a good friend of mine once stated, “You’re unemployed until you close a project.” That is the downside of doing what we do. The upside is helping people and companies improve and transform.

Pace is in direct relationship to need. That part is not in my control. What we do as a practice is somewhat difficult to understand and it takes some time to build trust.

My business partner and I have worked together for over a year to develop and refine our solutions. We continue to find our natural ways of working together with our clients. I’m blessed to have someone of his caliber to work with. It’s easy for me to see how we can help companies grow. Yet what we do is new enough that we need to spend time educating our prospects. If you offer innovation to your prospects, you know what I mean.

Our focus is People, Process, and Technology. We have worked to share what we do in five slides in a deck. Simple is better when you are offering innovation. When you are educating, you must tie it to the challenge the customer faces. The pace of the sales process is driven by how successful you are at sharing how your solution solves their challenge. You control that part of the process.

  1. Discovery- understand their challenge deeply. We have worked with a client for over three months with multiple meetings, just to define their issues.

  2. Gain commitment with each conversation. If the prospect doesn’t commit to something that takes action on their part, we have not moved the opportunity forward. A commitment to think about it is not a commitment.

  3. We build a scope of work as we move forward. It’s an information repository to build the solution, and to earn credibility. We start with defining what we heard as the issue, then add our suggested solution. As we move on through the process both can be tweaked until we have a locked down scope. Once we have defined the scope, we add our methodology, our deliverables, and how we will measure the results that define success.

  4. Ultimately you must do great work and be referenceable. This allows you to expand at a more rapid pace.

We never have control of a project until we have a commitment from the client, but we can drive the pace of the sales process. When things are moving slowly, the only one to blame is myself.

I learned an early lesson when I asked for a raise at the first company I worked for. The GM looked at me and suggested that if I wanted a raise, to look in the mirror and tell that guy. I was on commission. To this day, when things aren’t working like I would prefer, I must look in the mirror and tell that guy to step it up.

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