Some businesses have the big guy as their competitor. Some have a whole bunch of competitors in a local block. Some businesses have so much competition, that its easier to say who the’re not competing with. However, our competitor tops them all! Our competitor is “status quo”. Yup, I’d rather say I’m competing with XYZ Company than to say – we don’t really have anyone that does what we do or the way we do it (TEM 360° Solution). At least you can compete with the other women/man. Ok, but this is not about me venting that I have no direct competition to speak of. This is really to discuss that viral disease that slowly gets a company called “Status Quo” and how to avoid it with best business practices.
I want to share a story about a meeting I had several years ago, with Toyota and the manager of their mobile management team. First I should say that back when this meeting occurred, we were still employing cold calling as a marketing strategy, and for anyone who has done cold calling, you will have heard of the dreaded gatekeepers (essentially those secretaries or assistants that never let you get to your key contact). Well big companies like Toyota have lots of gatekeepers and therefore are often very hard to get into see. But I specifically recall our lead generation team telling me, that this was not the case with this particular appointment. In fact it was quite easy (now to be honest that kinda worried me, but in hindsight, it shouldn’t have).
In meeting with this lovely lady, within 15 minutes, she had spilled all of their mobile fleet information, the management reporting that she utilized, their audit process, the way they handled supporting their users, and on and on. I was impressed, and that doesn’t happen often. Her job was to manage the mobile fleet and this was no small part of her job. Toyota took this seriously and frankly she was doing it very well. I finally had to ask “why did you agree to see me?”
She explained in her most delightful way, that it was company policy that they were to see any potential vendor who they thought might be able to assist them in improving any facet of their business. If they could improve any component (and mobile communications was no small component believe me) then the end result would trickle down too, and improve their customer experience. After all, that’s what they were in business for, was to serve their customer.
WOW! We spent the next 90 minutes discussing strategies to improve her process and other business beliefs. It was a refreshing experience.
Sadly this is not the case for most businesses where Status Quo is accepted as they simply believe nothing is broken. Their cellular phones work, their communications reporting is sufficient, they don’t necessarily like dealing with the carrier, but for the most part it works. Compare that business attitude and best practices with that of a company like Toyota and you will quickly have the reason so many businesses fail. Status Quo, when we accept it in any component of our business, it grows like a disease and spreads. In the end we may not have a business left to measure at all. So think of this the next time you have a potential vendor call and want to deliver some information to you. They might just have a product or service, that pushes you above the competition and survive any storm that might come your way.
Since that meeting Toyota went through a major recall of vehicles which most people are aware of. What should amaze fellow business people is their ability to survive such a massive cost to their company. I for one, would expect no less of such a top organization. Is your organization the best it can be or has it settled for status quo?
Comment below and tell us, are you guilty of status quo!