Future Business is all about Speed

We only had a 45-minute wait for our supper at the Beehive in Cheltenham but both of us tut-tutted with the delay. Should’ve gone to KFC I joked, you don’t have to wait there.

The waiter was smart, attentive and young so our supper conversation drifted to young people and how to work with them and sell to them. Yes, I have riveting conversations at dinner. But my thoughts segway to the fad of instant gratification which people label Gen Ys with, with some justification.

Everything is expected immediately nowadays – supper, music, software, apps, house purchase, your mortgage application. Amazon next day delivery, self-service checkouts at the supermarket even ordering a pint at JD Weatherspoon’s can be done through an app at your table, which is then promptly delivered. No more waiting patiently at the bar with your £20 note waving in the air.

The world has moved on, and I believe speed now gives you a competitive advantage in business whether you’re in sales, professional advising or a coach.

A recent study from Harvard Business Review, on 1.25 million sales leads received by US firms found that firms who tried to contact the lead within one hour were more than seven times more likely to progress them than those who took longer.

Compelling evidence and its not just younger people who expect instant action and speedy service, it’s becoming ingrained in our DNA.

Have a look at your offering? Is it instant? Alternatively, quickly delivered. Delivering with a smile was great a few years’ ago; friendly customer service was a massive competitive advantage, now its immediate delivery and satisfaction. Robots, Automated Intelligence (AI) whatever you use to deliver doesn’t matter these days, so long as its quick.

  • If you’re a mortgage adviser, can you arrange instant decisions in principle and arrange loans with lenders that have a rapid turnaround?
  • Have you empowered and trained your people to be able to make decisions rather than refer to someone at the top? Very frustrating for customers
  • Are you completely digital in your business so everything can be transmitted via the internet?
  • Do you rely on face to face contact or have you migrated to video calling or live stream?
  • Do you provide a time-sensitive solution or a solution that maximises your day rate? Clients often don’t care about solving their issues quickly for a fee, sometimes paying a premium if you can get it done speedily. Charging a daily rate to elongate your fee is unethical.
  • Can you alter your sales process to maximise speed?
  • In the world of business development, instant “just in time” solutions are preferred. You surely don’t advocate classroom meetings anymore, do you?

Just a few ideas. The future is fast.

The atmosphere in the Beehive was conducive, and the waiter did bring me a glass of wine on the house, so I forgave them. And my pork belly was to die for, slow cooked for maximum taste and texture. Maybe some things are worth the wait.