The score was 22-17. Just over a minute left in the game. 4th and less than 1. Henne lined up in shotgun. Everyone’s thinking the same thing. Hard count, try to get them to jump offsides. Run down the play clock to zero sucking as much time off the game clock as possible and then call a timeout, punt and make Cleveland go down the field in 1 minute with no timeouts. OR….You can make it look like that’s what you are doing and then actually snap the ball and throw a pass to get the first down and ice the game?!?! Wait..What?!
After I got over the heart attack of what I had just witnessed I started thinking about how this relates in business. What can we learn from “Big Red” and his play calling? I wondered if I would have had the guts to do what he did? “Am I playing it safe in my business? Do I just try to play prevent defense in the same way that other businesses do? Following the norms, going through the same motions?” Here are my 2 biggest takeaways from Andy Reid’s play calling to help us score more in our businesses.
DO WHAT OTHERS WILL NOT:
I learned to think like this when reading the 10X rule by Grant Cardone. Figure out what your competitors can’t or won’t do and then do that. Andy Reid and the Chiefs did just that on the final play of the divisional game against the Browns. While there is no way of knowing for sure what other coaches would have had the guts to make that call, it’s a pretty safe bet that the answer is pretty close to zero. Andy was willing to make a call that no one else would have and therefore no one expected. The result? Punch your ticket to the AFC championship. Ask yourself, what is it that my competitor is unwilling or unable to do? In my previous position, I found that one of my competitors biggest struggles was their slow communication. They did not get back to customers quickly. So we put in place an one hour response guarantee in our office. This took a little tweaking to make sure we always had someone available to deliver on this, but it was HUGE in winning new clients.
GO AGAINST CONVENTIONAL WISDOM:
Was it wise the risk of going for it versus punting and making Cleveland’s offense go 80+ yards in 60 seconds? Conventional wisdom would probably say no, it wasn’t wise. But by going against conventional wisdom they were able to end the game and eliminate the entire risk of losing. The risk was really about the 30ish yards difference between where Cleveland would have started after a punt compared to where they would get the ball if the 4th down play didn’t convert. When we dig past the surface and look at what they were really risking it doesn’t seem quite as crazy. They were basically risking 30 yards of field against ending the game. Had they turned it over Cleveland would have needed to still go 50 yards for a touchdown in less than a minute. What conventional wisdom in your business should be challenged? One example I see often is the way people undervalue leads. What is the expected lifetime value of a new customer? How much are you willing to spend to acquire that lead? Conventional wisdom tells us to be conserative in our calculations because we do not know “for sure” how long a client will stay with us or “for sure” how much they will spend.
Take this example: An average customer stays three years with a 33% margin. This new customer will most likely spend $100,000 per year.
Many companies think like this: “Well, I’m not sure this customer will stay for three years. Let’s only value this at two years.” “I don’t know for sure they will spend $100,000 per year, so let’s be safe and call it $75,000.” “This customer doesn’t want to buy the whole line, so we may not make 33%; let’s use 25%.” With this more conservative approach, the value of the lead drops from $100,000 to $37,500.
This type of thinking tends to be a one-way street. The numbers always get more conservative but never get more aggressive. To stick with our conventional wisdom many companies will also stick with a conserative approach to the % of the lifetime value they are willing to dedicate to acquiring that new customer. On average lets say 15% of our “safe” $37,500 lifetime value and we are now willing to spend $5,625 to acquire that lead.
Reid style of evaluation: Statistics say an average customer is $100,000 per year and stay 3 years with a 33% margin. So we value a new customer at $100,000 and being that we are more aggressive we are willing to spend 25% to acquire a new customer. So we are now at $25,000 that we are willing to invest. Who is going to win more clients? Conservative business A or our Andy Reid style B? Business A will say that Business B is crazy! How can they spend that much?! While Business B will just keep growing. Be willing to think differently, be willing to challenge the conventional wisdom.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rory Sands is a Sales QB that specializes in helping small businesses in the Greater St. Louis area score more! He bucks conventional wisdom by providing elite sales management to small business owners on a part-time basis. Giving companies the skill and talent they need at a cost they can afford. Schedule a 15 minute call with Rory to see how you too can break free from the norms and Score more!