You’re Not You When You’re Hungry
By: Mark Frasco
When I was a kid, Snickers was my favorite candy bar.
Besides being the most delicious combination of milk chocolate, peanuts, nougat and caramel, it would fill my stomach when money or time were short. I’m not trying to reverse a generation’s trend of more health-conscious eating, but I am interested in exploring the feelings I had anticipating, participating, and remembering that Snickers treat.
Snickers are broadly available. Supermarkets and convenience stores stock boxes of them. You are not required to spend much time searching online for your favorite treat. They are available in the standard 1.5 oz. bars, bite size, or the larger, “I need something substantial” size. There is a cost associated with buying a Snickers bar, but compared to most everything else you spend money on, it is relatively insignificant.
I own three service organizations and have been in sales or sales leadership most of my career. I consider myself a professional sales and marketing person, with years of bad decisions behind me, informing my actions. There have been years, like this one, when growing top-line revenue seems certain. And then, there have been other years when I wondered if I were ever going to get another order.
Every business culture is different. Some have a natural tendency toward operational aspects, some sales, but only a few features a healthy mix of both. During my career, I’ve walked the halls of each of these, at one time or another.
You’re not you when you’re hungry. Regardless of the organization, one that is removing waste, scientifically installing quality and cutting costs, or one that is masterful at product/service positioning, and selling, or both, when you’re hungry for sales growth, you’re not yourself.
On the other hand, when your pipeline is full, proposals are moving through the funnel, and new business is coming in with regularity, you’ve got a bit of a hop in your step. Your shoulders are back, eyes are up, and a sense of purpose and pride rises in you, and everyone around you.
The best time to eat is when you’re not hungry. How many times have you heard that a number of smaller meals (not Snickers bars) throughout the day is better than letting yourself become starved and stuff yourself?
The best time to grow your business is when you don’t need to. There are plenty of prospects in the market. They are typically not difficult to find. Some are small, some large. If you invest a little bit every month, the cost is relatively insignificant, compared to everything else you spend money on.
Business growth has a lot more to do with process than it does technique. When you think of functions such as accounting or operations, you wouldn’t think to discontinue maintaining high-levels of performance once they are operating effectively. When times are good, be careful not to fool yourself into thinking that the processes that prepare and deliver new business have become somehow less important. Timing is everything, and most of us don’t have a clue when the economy will experience its next downturn. How does a business lose its business growth edge in the market? One day at a time.
“Marsha, eat a Snickers. You get a little hostile when you’re hungry.”