Richard Duchossois, owner of Arlington Park Racetrack, was featured in an article in yesterday’s Daily Herald on the front page. The article commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Mr. Duchossois served under General George S. Patton (pictured here as a Lt. General earlier in 1943) during the Great War. Duchossois shared some of his insights as gained from his WWII experience. He used these principles to build a business empire which includes his $2 billion dollar private company.
I want to tie this all in to a webinar I watched on Thursday, June 5th. The subject matter was how consultants can escalate the fees they charge clients merely by asking for a higher investment through a step-by-step process. Note: This is not news to professional consultative salespeople!
Additionally, the webinar presenter said the principles do not apply in the request for quote (RFQ) market. There low bidders usually win. It also does not work well with small or medium sized businesses. There the businesss are striving to produce sales on limited budgets.
But it is that small business market I enjoy most because of the personal tough of dealing intimately with the business owner. I also champion the underdog since I too was the underdog and under achiever for a big portion most of my early life.
I did eventually mature and grow. I become an avid autodidact and was able to self teach myself. At first it was mainly because of need (frankly we were broke) and then through my passion coupled with trial and error.
I do agree that it is challenge finding small businesses able to pay my fees (although I know I am worth it) and willing to do the time to accomplish their goals. Most are too caught up in simply running their businesses to effectively market. Yet I persist.
Learn to apply these principles to your business to become more successful.
I hope you can appreciate Mr. Duchossois’ quote.
“You learn discipline, you learn to be competitive, but also that you have to depend on others and you have to build a team…”
– was a hard lesson for me to learn as I entered direct sales. I learned and was able to carry it further into our successful small business launch in 1990 and subsequent consulting business in 2009.
When you are in charge you simply can not wait for orders nor direction. Rather, you must initiate the action. You must get up every day and market your business whether you feel like it or not; in good times as well as in bad times. Do not be one of the 70% of all small business failures due to lack of marketing.
– the world is far more competitive today. Everything is considered to be a commodity. There is little or no differentiation by consumers between you and me. Purchasing of products and services is mainly price driven.
You must learn to differentiate yourself from your competition. Understand what makes you different and what makes you unique. Then find ways to communicate that to your clients and prospects.
Depend on others
– because we can not do everything ourselves and simply cannot fight it out on our own. Call on the expertise of others for areas you do not shine in.
Build a team
– based on a referral network. This was my secret success formula that helped make my sales and consulting careers successful. Build that trust in others so they can recommend you to who they know. We all need our allies.
Personal note: Perhaps this is why LinkedIn is so dear to me. It is a high speed avenue that helps quickly build long term relationships, recommendations and referrals.
Michael, The ‘Web Professor’
Photo by U.S. Army Signal Corps, via Wikimedia Commons
Note: I modified my original article from LinkedIn publisher of June 6, 2014 to avoid being ‘dinged’ by Google for duplicate content.