Sometimes it’s instructive to step outside of your comfort zone and spear a fork into the uncomfortable. I recently delivered myself squarely there, with a deliberate stroll to the services buying side of the menu, instead of the services selling. It was with the aim of identifying a firm that could help us with some of our growth challenges that I lurched across the divide.
I honed in rapidly and found for myself a couple of likely candidates. I had telephone conversations with each of them, in which I described the nature and direction of our business, and explained some of the roadblocks our hurtling success has been dropping in our path. After our telephone call, I met with each of these contenders, and explained our situation further.
My experience to follow has been revealing.
One firm said they would return with a proposal for me today. The other? They want more time. They want more meetings, they say, and aren’t nearly in a position to take the next step yet.
I’ve got to say that I’m stymied by this spectacular show of inactivity. Don’t these guys want business? Aren’t they hungry?
This is a time when information is being communicated to us at speeds so swift just processing it is a challenge. Maintaining a sustained level of movement is critical right now. People who don’t get that sense of urgency miss the point at their peril.
My time is precious — as is everyone’s. If I say I need a proposal . . . I kind of mean right now.
I wonder which firm I’ll go with. I wonder, too, which of my two candidates will still be picking up the phone a year from now. If you can’t get out of your comfort zone, I think, then maybe you should get out of business.