Relationship Economics® Newsletter
The Nour Group, Inc. | March 2007
The destructive power of Arrogance
ar·ro·gance - noun: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.
I recently visited with an impressive senior executive in his posh office on “mahogany row.” Beyond his solid educational background and obvious star-on-the rise status, what I appreciated most was his admittance that his Fortune 50 company – through its arrogance – had lost market share, incredibly valuable team members, respect of industry thought leaders and its reputation as a relationship-centric culture. He described the number of humble pies they had been forced to eat in order to regain the organization's humility, civility, and a return to its core values.
It made me think of organizations that are blind to world-class speakers because they either treat you like a moron with fill-in-the-blank online forms, or have you deal with morons who decide the agenda for key events! It reminds me of local airlines in bankruptcy with rude employees, clueless to the experience economy! Or individuals in key corporate, association or academic roles, who somehow believe that the logo on their business card is a permission slip for a pompous, pretentious posture.
Are you or your organization headed for a cliff called arrogance? What are the signs?
Who Needs Sales?
Take two senior executives, one running Company A and doing $20 million in sales, the other running a sales organization of Fortune 500 Company B and responsible for $19 billion in top line revenues. At first glance, you wouldn't think they have much in common. But you would be surprised to learn that they're on opposite sides of the same quandary.
While performing a Strategic Revenue Growth Audit for Company A, a consistent theme arose. The rest of the organization was concerned that the CEO simply "didn't get sales." In particular, his operational background and focus on the production/delivery side of the business concerned the rest of the sales team regarding his perceptions of the real value of the sales function, team, and their efforts. His facetious comments such as, “sales is a necessary evil,” and, “not sure what they do all day,” didn’t help matters.
In getting to know the senior executive of Company B, I learned that most of the “C-suite” had risen through the ranks of operations and delivery. As a matter of fact, in this company’s 100+ year history, no sales or business development executive has ever become CEO. To make matters worse, they recently transferred an operations executive to run the $19 billion sales organization. Add insult to injury - overheard comment by another senior executive: “Great. Now that team will face some accountability!” - from a leader who have never carried a bag, mind you!
Where would either company be without seasoned sales professionals who are constantly faced with more competitive markets, more sophisticated buyers and complex buying committees, and the challenges of not only gaining access, but overcoming trust, help, satisfaction, and advocacy? In short, identify, building, and nurturing personal, functional and strategic relationships – often instrumental to the company’s long-term success.
Selling is both an art and a science and it's everyone’s job! Until you truly understand what professionals in this function face everyday, you can’t possibly empathize with their challenges or strategize on their opportunities. Regardless of your management role, function, or size of your organization, nothing will ever replace feet on the street! Make a conscious effort to go back to the fundamentals by going on sales calls, adding value to sales meetings, and becoming the accountable face of the organization when those valuable clients look for the "one neck to choke!"
If you’re not in the field, making sales calls, how can you demonstrate the real value of sales to your organization?
Click here for David Nour's Recent Presentation on Relationship-Centric Organizations
Excuse Me, Is This Rehab?
By Alan Weiss, Ph.D. - President, Summit Consulting Group
A six-term Senator makes awkward, insensitive, racial remarks. Where does he go? To rehab. A major city mayor has an affair with his campaign manager’s wife. Where does he go? To rehab. A married state governor has a homosexual affair with an aide he has appointed to a top post. Where does he go? To rehab. A Hollywood star crashes her car into someone else’s car. Where does she go? To rehab. A male, anti-gay minister is found to have had a male lover. Where does he go? To rehab (and announces that he’s “cured” in just three weeks, and has returned to full-time heterosexuality).
Rehab must be a crowded place. It strikes me as a secular confessional, where all sins are absolved (and quite quickly).
We’ve given people an “easy out.” I wonder if we’re not doing the same thing organizationally. Show me a five-year plan that actually influences evaluations and rewards. Most of the time, they are changed after a year or two (especially if key people aren’t making much progress against the goals). When we find a sales quota missed, we tend to accept all kinds of ex post facto excuses: The customers had a bad year, the technology changed, we didn’t have the support we were promised, I’m afraid of the dark.
“Rehab” in the corporate world takes the form of unsuccessful managers being transferred or even promoted, but seldom punished, demoted, or fired. Sometimes rehab is a class on diversity training, or sensitivity training, or anger management skills. Often rehab is the loss of a perk: “Poor Jones, his performance was so terrible that they’re not letting him use the corporate jet for the next month.” Rehab is a tough place.
Click here to read the entire article
© Alan Weiss 2006. All rights reserved.
Alan Weiss, Ph.D. is the author of 25 books, including Million Dollar Consulting (McGraw-Hill), which appear in 7 languages. He runs the unique Million Dollar Consulting™ Colleges three times a year. He was recently inducted into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame®
5 Common Mistakes Sellers of Middle-Market Companies are Likely to Make
By Dom Mazzone, Managing Director -
Mazzone & Associates
Following a strong year for merger and acquisition activity, Thomson Financial and the Association for Corporate Growth recently surveyed dealmakers about future prospects. The result found dealmakers even more bullish about the current climate and future prospects of the merger and acquisition market.
Over 90% of the mergers and acquisitions volume is in transactions with purchase prices less than $500 million. Approximately 60% of all merger and acquisition volume is in transactions in the middle-market between $10 and $500 million. With cheap debt available to leverage, record amounts of private equity capital available for investment and climbing average EBITDA purchase price multiples, the merger and acquisition environment is developing into a great sellers’ marketplace.
Many companies that may not otherwise be “sellers” can turn into sellers in today’s environment. One reason is that many business owners realize that this is a good market to “take some chips of the table.” Many companies turn into sellers simply because they are approached by a buyer who is offering what seems to be an appealing purchase price.
Regardless of the reason for selling and the sophistication of the seller, five common mistakes made by sellers are set forth below:
- Not maintaining control of the process
- Missing projections during the process
- Not getting your house in order
- Not having a solid business plan or strategic plan or at least a set of projections
- Thinking you can do it yourself
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Dom Mazzone is the Managing Director of Mazzone & Associates, LLC with significant experience executing mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions domestically and internationally in a variety of industries. He was previously the VP, General Counsel and Secretary of Oxford Industries, the head of mergers and acquisitions in The Home Depot's legal department and a mergers and acquisitions attorney at Alston & Bird.