Addicted to Relationships

I was writing the resignation email for an executive networking group that drives about 10% of our annual revenue when the phone rang. It was a new lead referred by the group. The lead sounded promising, so I took down the info and thanked my contact.

The conflict that I thought I had settled suddenly raged anew: do I quit a group that helps drive revenue in order to make time for other efforts that I believe will be more propulsive for the business, or do I stay involved with the group and hope the breakthrough that has proved elusive would soon present itself?

I hit “Enter.” Resignation sent.

When I was still wrestling with the decision, the logical part of my brain had told me that my time is my most valuable asset, and the better use I can make of it the more revenue we would generate. It was a simple cost-benefit analysis: resigning from the group would hurt us financially in the short term, but it would provide me with the time I needed to spearhead efforts that I believed would generate more revenue in the long term. But who makes big decisions based on logic? People take leaps forward based on emotion, and for quite awhile fear had held me back.

I constantly see this situation with our potential customers. They have a successful sales organization, their business comes from referrals, and they fear that if they take their eye off the ball for one moment, the whole thing will come crashing down. It’s a valid fear—one I now empathize with deeply. It’s incredibly difficult for a sales organization of any size to scale without shifting significant resources over to marketing, yet the resistance to do so can be fierce—especially for organizations that are marketing novices. We extol the idea that old ways don’t open new doors; we tell our clients that if they’re interested in serious growth, then they need to do a few things outside of their comfort zone. But, alas, fear sometimes triumphs over hope no matter the fortitude of one’s person or the soundness of one’s plan.
Ultimately, I’m glad that fear did not get the best of me. My decision appears to have been the correct one. We’re generating several serious leads each day with an increasing amount of momentum. Onward.

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