3 reasons you guys are all big chickens

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The great ones have the courage to totally break what they just did really well just for the chance of doing something truly great.

Let’s face it, this is not most of you. Many people have built pretty good companies from originating business essentially the same way they did 10, 15 even 20 years ago. So as one of our clients once said…”Don’t fix it if it isn’t broke, right? It’s seems to be working pretty good?”


Company after company find contentment in “pretty good”. Pretty good makes money, keeps a stable of customers happy and even brings in new ones to replace the ones they lose. Pretty good might even grow a little in strong economic winds and suck less than others when the winds blow in your face. Pretty good is also vanilla, undifferentiated, and the absolutely enemy of greatness. Substandard and even mediocre companies are forced to look at new approaches and innovation because market forces around profitability concerns dictate such. We believe, in fact, pretty good just might be the biggest business development problem in your company. So, are you pretty good?

Are you trying to find greatness? Are you attempting to be revolutionary and an innovative leader in your corner of the industry? If not, then why? The answers, as uncomfortable as they might make you, are fear of new things and a complete loss of the entrepreneurial culture due to an aging industry clinging to old methods. Ouch.


Our business has too many old white guys and not enough new, young, diverse talents entering the ranks. Now, you old white guys are very smart, devilishly good looking and successful, but new ideas have become very stale in the business. Diversity drives innovation. It’s a fact really.

How has this happened? Everyone looks to old retreads as a hiring pool and then complains there is no young talent entering the business. Younger people that do get in often don’t make it long because there is no real sales management or development program, just a number to hit, an email address and a telephone while other industries (tech as an example) have a business development engine thriving with youth because of extensive training, development and leading sales management. And what is going to happen to the youth of the business now that GE Capital…the hands down leader in developing the youth of commercial finance…is going away forever? Driving a more innovative culture starts with your people.


Technology has changed the customer decision making process forever, yet most commercial finance companies don’t even acknowledge it and are still throwing salespeople at the problem wondering why it seems harder to get the ROI we used to. While some industries are driving their sales turnover to record lows and higher per salesperson productivity because of marketing inbound lead generation, our business is seeing the highest sales turnover rates, recruitment expenses and lower productivity per salesperson we have seen in years. One quote to highlight the problem:

“CFOs and the rest of my generation simply do not interact with all that online content, marketing to influence decision making” – An executive sales leader of a big commercial finance company. The problem with his statement is that the average age of a middle market CFO is 13 years younger than he is. The average CFO is no longer in his generation.


The world has changed and there is more opportunity in front of your company right now than in longer than we would care to remember. Do you have the guts to be more than pretty good? Do you have the courage to try new things…even fail…in order to be great? I think you do, you just need help with a wake-up call. If you ever wanna chat about innovating and finding a path to greatness…give us a holler.

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