In the past ten days, I’ve spoken with three people that were looking for advice. They each were struggling with very different components of their marketing plan.
However, after hearing the problem at hand, the solution was very clear for each. So clear that I doubt any of them didn’t already know it. So why were they calling me?
For two of them, I suspect, it’s because their boss told them no and they were looking for an alternative. Since the third person was the owner, I suspect he convinced himself that the answer should be no.
Are you intrigued? Why on earth would everyone be saying no?
You may be thinking the solution is cost prohibitive, but consider the fact that these aren’t small hiccups. We are talking about things that will have a huge impact on revenue (otherwise they wouldn’t have reached out for help). The potential ROI far outweighs the cost.
So what would you do? Let’s recap the facts.
- We face a problem.
- We have a solution.
- With a high relative ROI, cost should not be a concern.
Based on the facts laid out above would you say no?
What if I said the solution requires you abandoning the project management system you’ve used for the past eight years? Or the accounting software you’ve had since you opened the company?
That changes everything doesn’t it?
Do You Fear Change?
Yes, you do. Don’t worry, it’s not your fault. It’s hardwired into your brain. But this isn’t your biggest problem. It’s that you genuinely believe (at least subconsciously) that longevity = quality.
We all do.
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology shows that people have a very real and palpable preference for things that have been around longer.
In one example (of many), study participants were given a piece of European chocolate.
Side Note: Does your website proclaim “established in 1979” or “25 years of service” or a similar phrase? If so then you’re actively playing on the perception that longevity equals quality.
Half were told its recipe originated 73 years ago, and others were told it originated three years ago. As you may have guessed the former group rated the chocolate as better-tasting.
So you see, change is more than simply accepting a different way of doing things. It’s about giving up something “old-that-works-well,” for something “new-and-therefore-lower-quality.”
Change or Die
“What if you were given that choice? For real…We’re talking actual life or death now.”
So starts a powerful article on fastcompany.com. The article continues, “Could you change…when it mattered most? Yes? You’re probably deluding yourself. You wouldn’t change. The scientifically studied odds: nine to one against you.”
It turns out that “change or die” is the ultimatum given to heart patients by their doctors. If they don’t make the necessary changes then they will die. And yet only 11% will change.
This underscores how resistant we are to change. But don’t lose hope. You can choose to be in the 11%. And you must. Because if you don’t allow change within your company, it will die.
We’ve Always Done it This Way
These six words will be the end of your business.
If you have said this recently, it’s time to take a hard look at your operations in today’s rapidly changing environment.
By no means do I suggest you change for the sake of change. But you must work hard (and it is work) to always be open to new ideas.
As the leader of the company I suggest you write this phrase down on a piece of paper, “if it ‘aint broke, fix it.” Keep it somewhere that you often see; on the dashboard of your truck, on your dresser or even in the bathroom.
It’s a reminder that, “we’ve always done it this way” are six words that will destroy your business.
And if you’re one of the two marketing managers I spoke with this week, make sure you forward this post to your boss.
What about you?
Do you struggle with change? Do you say “we’ve always done it this way?” I look forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.