Avoid This Costly Business Mistake To Unleash Your True Potential
I spend $1,000,000 a year with a vendor, and they flush my money down their corporate toilet.
We all get sucked into the money pit vortex. Chasing vanity, lagging metrics like it’s the cure to the business failure plague.
Sure they’re important goals, but they add no direct value to a client.
Businesses are made up of tens, hundreds, thousands of humans, working together to achieve a goal.
Yet, most goals are a financial metric, a sale, profit, volume, whatever.
As I spend our $1,000,000 a year, my counterpart, my “vendors,” primary goal is to extract more from me.
That’s great if we needed more, and we might, but our sales rep never asks to take us to lunch, to learn more about us. He never returns our emails, and rarely calls.
He’s playing million dollar hard to get. It’s like the month before prom and I have no date!
Instead of working with me to be more efficient, to help us achieve our company goals, he’s self-motivated.
I’m just a number. A B2B prostitute.
And that’s the lesson…
In business and in life, everything is human-to-human. I hate the transactional way of thinking, which is why I don’t do it.
Here’s what I do instead. It’s limited our growth, and I’m okay with that because it’s lead to richer partnerships.
Business is best met when humans work together. Here’s what I mean…
Early one morning I got a terrifying email. Nate, there was a fire in flight, and it was your APU (a significant aircraft component) that caused the fire.
“You’ll pay for this!” the client demanded.
I can imagine how upset they were. Scared. On the verge of getting fired. I understood. I wanted to fire myself.
My first instinct was to make sure everyone was okay, and they were. The incident went through investigation, and we spent hours reviewing reports.
In the end, it had nothing to do with us. It wasn’t our fault.
So what did we do?
I decided to send one of our top clients their $140,000 back for the trouble.
Repeat: it wasn’t even our fault!
This decision led to more business which helped us recover from our loss, but is also built a vibrant relationship with two dear friends.
It built lifelong trust and that’s how I like to operate in business.
I was on a call recently with them. The gentlemen and dear friend said, Nate, no one else operates like Skylink. You’re trustworthy, transparent and care about your client’s success.
This is the perfect example of human-to-human business.
You first must understand, you can’t be everything to everybody. I’ve learned this the hard way.
There are some companies who can be something to everyone. Like the one I spend a $1,000,000 with.
They’re a $5B corporation.
I’m a rat turd in a cornfield compared to them.
With my businesses, Skylink in particular, we choose to deliver custom solutions for our top tier clients. That’s it!
We know who we can create the most value for and those are the organizations we seek to help.
To achieve this, we have to say no to a lot of things.
It’s difficult but necessary.
Always remember that the person on the other side is human.
We often forget that we’re dealing with other humans. We forget about their passions. Their goals. Their stresses.
We push products down people’s throat to “get the sale” without delivering anything extraordinary.
My product isn’t trust. Sure it’s a core value. So is creating a WOW experience and being our client’s wings when they need them the most.
Our clients “buy” the trust in us more than anything else. Sure our solutions create value and reduce real-world operational inefficiencies, but they buy true human support.
I’ve lost millions of dollars working this way, but have instilled a vision, mission, and value I can get behind. That my teams and clients can get behind.
That $140,000 loss turned into a $3,000,000+ client. A decent ROI because we weren’t shortsighted.
This is what I love about business, the deep, impactful relationships with clients. Creating immense value that makes it really hard to “break-up” with us.
So the question remains, are you a penny pusher or are you looking to create something bigger and better for your operation? For your life?
The answer is yours. Think about it.
Thanks for reading!