The sunset of a company

Written by Annika Widen

It is so sad to see a company decline. It is a doleful experience to watch a Management's desperate attempts to save it without knowing how. When a company is affected by fear it's extremely costly; hopeless investments in marketing and the engagement of pricey managers will not save the company. The issue is all too common - we tend to focus on the symptom instead of trying to find the cause of the problems. Very often the cause has an uncomfortable name which is difficult to seize and handle. Its name is FEAR and it is toxic.

It's hard to fight something you can't see or understand. Fear is just like that. When it strikes an organization the consequences can be fatal. If a Sales Manager suffers from ISCIS* (in Sales called "Sales Call Reluctance"), it won't take more than 8 weeks until the whole Sales team is affected. I have seen this happen. I have seen competent people leave sinking companies because this was the only way to keep their heads above water and to keep breathing. And it's sad.

How do we know that a company is collapsing? First of all - ask yourselves: Are we satisfied with the Sales results? If the answer is "no" I suggest analyzing the Sales Call Reluctance of the Sales Managers and Business Developers at the company before the ship sinks. My advice is not to sit around and watch but to take action before it's too late.

A desperate company may start a corporate restructuring. We might see something that in Swedish is called "drying-drum" - a change of roles and at the end you don't know who is reporting to who anymore. Sales continue to decline and the company might find it hard to cover personnel salaries. The Management takes action by reducing the working hours of the personnel and maybe even dismissing some of the most valid employees since these might be the ones that cost the most. Although the purpose is to save money, the costs of the company will only increase if you act this way since it now starts to include even legal costs.

Now the company does the third mistake. It invests all resources to retain existing customers, rather than look for new ones. This is a great risk and can put the company in stagnation.

The next step is the saddest. Nobody wants to take the responsibility for what has happened and the Management starts to blame one another. It is the fault of the market, the recession or the misconduct of the previous management. The atmosphere becomes unbreathable and the best managers and the strongest sellers resign..

This could have been avoided if the ISCIS * - the "fear" of self-promotion had been analyzed at the beginning of the decline. The fear of self-promotion, in Sales called Sales Call Reluctance, is nothing to be ashamed of. Most Sales people suffer from at least 3 of the 12 types. And the great news is that they can be corrected.

If you want to know more, please do not hesitate to drop me an e-mail and I will be happy to explain more.

Annika Widén -

* Inhibited Social Contact Initiation Syndrome (ISCIS). It is also referred to as "the fear of self-promotion".