Are You Suffering from Opportunity Optimism Syndrome?

Implementing 8020 is not an easy thing to do, and it takes a lot of discipline and a number of hard choices. One of the hardest of these is letting customers go, and the thing that stands most in the way of this is the feeling that more business could come from them down the line and that therefore you should keep them.

While this may be perfectly valid, more often than not in my experience it is not. If you have had a customer years and years who has never become a major customer, then you have to ask yourself why that is the most obvious starting point is to ask yourself whether they actually have enough business to render them potentially one of your 80s, and if they do then the other question is what have you done to try to move them further up the scale.

One of my clients had a small order from a billion-dollar corporation, and of course that is something that you would see as having potential. Unfortunately, they had no process and no formal way of following up with that customer to try to turn the small order into a larger relationship. Absent that kind of process, then even a customer like that is somebody that you shouldn’t pursue.