It’s A Jungle Out There!
Survive and Thrive: 
It's A
Out There!

by Marc Beauchamp

    Have you ever heard the story of how they catch monkeys in India? They build a heavy box with a small slit just large enough for the monkey to fit his hand through - sideways. They then take a trip to the jungle and place some nice juicy bananas in the box. These are no ordinary bananas; they are really ripe and tasty, the kind of banana a monkey could hold onto forever. Now as you know monkeys love bananas. The monkey smells the banana and hesitantly puts his hand into the box and grabs a fresh juicy banana; he soon discovers that his hand will not fit back thru the slot unless he drops the banana. Now he’s got a dilemma, does he release the banana and go free or hang on and go to the zoo for eternity? It’s an easy choice for a monkey and next time you go to the zoo you can see how many couldn’t let go.
    Guess what? Sales professionals are sometimes like monkeys! The conditions of the market may change but they still hold on to their old ideas and ways of doing things. Unfortunately, if they don’t release those limiting sales strategies – they are going to end up with the monkeys! In a self-imposed prison of lackluster sales results.
    I receive calls and emails from frustrated bankcard salespeople wondering what they need to do to make in this hyper competitive industry. Yes, things have gotten more competitive but what business hasn’t? Look at the insurance, real estate, automobile and computer industries; they have all experienced major changes in how they market their goods and services. And like these industries if you want to be a successful bankcard agent you need to make a shift in the way you market your goods and services.
    5 years ago Insurance was sold almost exclusively through insurance agents. With the advent of the Internet many insurance companies now market their product direct to the consumer. How did these insurance agents survive? Well, the ones that weren’t willing to change haven’t but those that have shifted from being an insurance man to a solution provider or valued business partner have adopted their marketing strategy and product offerings to fit current conditions.
    Irrespective of the industry – salespeople all share the same simple objectives and requirements to grow and build a business.

  • You’ve got to get the most yield out of the customers you currently have.
  • You’ve got to get the maximum number of customers you can from the best possible source of prospects you can identify.
  • You’ve got to make the time; effort and money you spend produce the best possible result now and in the future.
  • You’ve got to use the momentum you have in motion to your best advantage.

    By momentum I mean utilizing customers, relationships and the distribution channels you have in place. Ask yourself powerful questions and you will get powerful answers: How can I leverage my customers, relationships and distribution channels to a better and broader advantage?” What shifts do you need to take in your approach, business plan or product mix to realize these four objectives?

  • What strategies can I borrow from other industries or companies that have faced competitive pressures and flourished?
  • What innovations do I need to make to move my business to the next level?
  • Experiment, play with these answers, think out of the box and look to find ways to make ideas work for you instead of reasons why they won’t work.

    In his book, The Winner Within, Pat Riley talks about breakthroughs. He says, “A breakthrough is a positive thunderbolt. It enables the team and the winner within to grasp and to realize their mission by defining and fulfilling the most important performance goals in life.” He goes on to say, “…business breakthroughs are more likely to come from the head than the heart. Often they entail defining old problems in new ways, or the road to fresh solutions wouldn’t even occur to you.”
   Pat Riley coached the Los Angeles Lakers to four championships in nine years by being unique and trying new ideas - like a 6’9” guard, and combining rookies with proven veterans. By embracing change and adopting new ideas, you to can achieve your own business breakthroughs.