Saturday, May 21, 2016

The shiny penny syndrome

Freepik image

This post is about the folly of instant gratification and business development (BD).

I coined a term (pun intended) for a BD illness I call, "Shiny Penny Syndrome".  This malady which strikes young and old, often afflicts professionals delivering complex business services that typically require long sales cycles (of months or even years).  Symptoms include short attention spans, misplaced time allocation and indifference to a client prospect.

To understand this illness and why it can be costly, one must first accept these premises: the time professionals have for BD is finite and good BD takes time. What often subverts efficient use of BD time, is Shiny Penny Syndrome.

We're so eager, so driven, that all it takes is the simplest of distractions to catch our eye.  The promise of a "hot" lead at a prospect derails efforts at last month's hot lead and in the process, we compromise potential at prospects who've already met us.

Misplaced effort to grab the new shiny coin metastasizes into gross indifference to the original shiny coin which turns potential dollars...into definite pennies.  We want the hot, easy close. Who doesn't?

I'm not advocating a slow start to a new, time sensitive, opportunity. I'm saying that rather than following through and developing new client pursuits, professionals frequently skate to the next prospect, because the prior one didn't pan out as quickly as they'd like.  Mistake.

Professionals can inoculate themselves from Shiny Penny Syndrome by doing all they can to earn trust at a limited number of good prospects, instead of making a flurry of superficial efforts at a high volume of shiny coins.