Rynd Speaks

This is the first chapter of my next book. It is a parable on how Bob uses  the Nine Laws to solves some very difficult personal and business problems. The Book is called Rynd’s Nine Laws for Personal and Professional Success – Going from Success to Significance. My coauthor Mike Larocca and I are very proud of this book because of the compelling story, the easy read and lessons learned. It will be available on Amazon in shortly!

Please read and enjoy.

Bob’s Drive

 

“Why am I the only person in this office who can do sales?”

Bob is seated in an elegant office, in a luxurious black leather chair at a cherry wood desk, none of which he ever seems to notice. He’s wearing a tailored gray business suit. His jacket is draped over the back of his chair.

Bob is facing Richard, who wears a tailored navy Armani suit despite holding the title Inside Sales Manager and thus rarely leaves the office. Richard begins to formulate a reply, but Bob cuts him off.

“No, scratch that,” says Bob. “Okay, fine, maybe I’m not the only person who can do sales. But I am the only person who will do sales, who does do sales. It’s not difficult. Everyone we contact needs this service. It’s a great service. It’s simple to see this. It’s simple to explain this. But why am I the only person who’s actually doing the work?”

“I –”

“Don’t answer that. I’m not in the mood right now.”

Bob realizes that right now’s not the time for a reasoned conversation. After a brief, almost guilty look at Richard, Bob says, “Let me go calm down first. Then tell me what happened with Greg and the Eastern contract.”

My reaction was unreasonable, Bob realizes as he leaves his office. But being annoyed at this problem is not.

Bob briefly wonders how long it’ll take Richard to return to his own office, and almost smiles, but his amusement quickly gives way to his annoyance.

Bob doesn’t mind doing sales. He’s good at it. It’s not what he would have envisioned himself doing twenty years ago, but he doesn’t mind sales. Or marketing. Or customer service. Or even purchasing, receivables, payables, or payroll.

Well, maybe not payroll.

No, the problem is that he is either doing or overseeing all of them, in too much detail, being pulled in 94 different directions at once. He owns a business that grossed four hundred grand last year and he’s still working harder than he would in a 9-to-5.

It just doesn’t make sense.

Bob enters the break room and is halfway to the water fountain before he stops. The table is cluttered with napkins and plates. On the counter beside the sink are several bottles of soda.

Unfortunately, Bob’s secretary chooses just that moment to open the opposite door and enter the break room. Ella’s smart “office chic” business suit, silk blouse, expensive shoes, and styled black hair make her look almost as efficient as she actually is.

“This is just ridiculous.” Bob throws his hands in the air. “Am I a business owner or a babysitter?”

“Bob, I thought you were –” she begins.

“Am I the only person who is even marginally engaged in this place? I can’t believe I have to tell you to keep the kitchen area clean, to take out the trash, to answer the customer emails on the same day. It’s ridiculous that you don’t know all this. It’s ridiculous that you aren’t already doing all this. Is it ignorance or apathy? No, wait, let me guess – you don’t know and you don’t care.”

Ella knows this isn’t true. She also knows that Bob knows this isn’t true. She enjoys working for him most of the time, but he can overreact on occasion. She suspects it’s the result of keeping such a tight lid on his feelings, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to tell him that.

The atypical situation in the break room leaves Ella stunned for a moment. In that moment, Bob leaves the room. He’s out of the building before she ever gets the chance to tell him that the so-called mess was in fact Bob’s workers setting up the break room for his 45th birthday party.

Bob quickly drives his silver luxury sedan from the parking lot, enjoying its smooth handling and easy power. He always enjoys the first minute of every drive, before his thoughts and plans move to the front of his mind and distract him from his surroundings. The first car he looked at cost more than he was willing to spend, but he likes what he bought instead.

He drives half a block along the access road, stops at the intersection where it meets the four-lane “proper” road, turns left when the light changes, and starts using his hands-free phone.

“Ella, it’s Bob. I’m sorry about that. Really. I shouldn’t have done that, okay?”

“Sure.”

“I’m going to Eastern to see if I can save this contract. I don’t know when I’ll be back. I’ll keep you posted.”

“Okay.”

Bob drives his car onto the interstate and accelerates rapidly. He notices that Ella seems subdued, which makes him feel guilty. “I’m sorry I blew up back there. You do a great job. I’d be lost without you.”

“No problem.”

“Okay. Bye.”

Bob ends the call, swerves around someone who apparently doesn’t realize that interstates also have minimum speed limits, and makes another call.

“I’m sorry I blew up back there,” he tells Richard’s voicemail. “It’s not your fault. Since this is a local customer for a change, I’m going down there to save this one in person. Keep pulling those numbers together. I’ll catch up with you later.”

After quickly checking his GPS to remind himself which exit to take, confirming that his memory is accurate, he makes another call.

“Greg,” he says. “Bob. Tell me what happened.”

“I –”

“Give me the short version.”

Greg pauses. “The guy with the title Purchasing Manager does not, in fact, make purchasing decisions.”

Bob exhales.

“Exactly,” says Greg. “All that effort explaining what we do, winning over a guy – and we did win him over – who can’t say yes or no. He’s got to go run it by his boss, and we’ve never spoken to her at all –”

“And he’ll lose something in translation.”

“Right,” says Greg. “That’s exactly right.”

“So we find out who she is and then we start over again.” Bob bangs on his steering wheel in frustration.

“It gets worse. While we were busy with the gatekeeper, Dickson got into the company president. She’s the one making the decisions.”

“Oh… fudge.” Bob breathes deeply. “Dickson. How did they find out who the decision maker is before we –? No, never mind how they found out. The question is, how do we fix this?”

Oh great, he thinks, flipping on his headlights and windshield wipers. Rain.

“Recommendations,” says Greg. “Testimonials.”

“What about them?”

“If we start over now, we sound like salesmen.”

“That could be because we are salesman,” says Bob, chuckling.

“We know why we’re different from our competition, why Eastern should hire us instead. But we can talk ourselves blue in the face explaining that and it won’t be as effective as recommendations from our customers.”

“This is true,” says Bob. “But unless you know how to get our customers to drop whatever they’re doing and just jump in ahead of Dickson right now to tell Eastern just how great we are…”

Ahead of Bob, a car brakes suddenly. The lanes on this stretch of interstate have a way of suddenly ending or turning exit-only and panicking those unfamiliar with it, so he isn’t surprised, but he is annoyed. He swerves left and wonders why he’s so easily annoyed these days.

“We could always sabotage them,” Greg mutters, followed by a noise that doesn’t travel well from hands-free phone to hands-free phone.

“Did you just laugh nervously?” Bob asks.

“What?”

“I’ve read about that in books – oh, how I wish I had time to read books again – but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard it before. Was that a nervous laugh?”

“Um… no… um, I was just joking about sabotage –”

“Of course you were joking. Sabotage would be unethical.”

“It would,” Greg quickly agrees.

“So we don’t do that. We don’t sabotage Dickson. We reframe the job.”

“Reframe.”

“Sure. Reframe. If we’re bidding against an incumbent, we make the old entrenched methods look bad. If we’re the incumbent, we make our insider knowledge critical. If we’ve got a better reputation for data security, we play up the threat and likelihood of compromising a system. If none of our competitors provide a single point of contact, stress that we do and why it matters. If we’ve got a less experienced team, we play down the need for expertise and talk up our ability to do the same work at lower cost. If we’ve got a more experienced team, we play up the value of experience, and the peace of mind they’ll enjoy knowing that our people are all hired, trained, and in place. Make what we do best seem vital and what others do well seem not so important. Stress the critical importance of anything we know that our competitor doesn’t. Reframe.”

“Ah,” says Greg.

“Ideally before they call for bids, of course.” Bob takes the exit that leads from the interstate he’s on to the interstate he wants to be on. “Oh, have they called for bids on this yet?”

“Not yet.”

“Great! We are in there! We can help them decide what to stress in the RFP. If Dickson can beat us on what does matter to the customer, we bid on what should matter to the customer. Can you meet me in –”

Bob is driving in the leftmost of five lanes, which quickly narrow to four and then three lanes, and he needs to shoot to the far right lane within the next mile. This particular stretch of interstate brings out the worst in the lane jockeys, no matter the weather, especially if there’s a slow-moving bus or truck.

Bob is momentarily distracted by his phone call and therefore unaware of the car on his right, in his blind spot. The car veers to its left and smashes into Bob’s car at 73 miles per hour.

The road is newly wet, when the asphalt is at its slickest. Bob’s car skids. Badly.

Failing Forward,

Ron Finklestein
330-990-0788
ron@ businessgrowthexperience.com
www.businessgrowthexperience.com – Download the free report
www.businessgrowthexperience.net – Sales Membership Site – try it today!

 

 

Ron Finklestein is an accomplished Sales Training Coach and Consultant for small businesses. Professional and public speaker. International business author.

About Ron Finklestein

Ron Finklestein is an accomplished Sales Training Coach and Consultant for small businesses. Professional and public speaker. International business author.

%d bloggers like this: