Remind me why you’re in business…

So I was involved in a fundraiser as a sponsor and wanted to use the opportunity to give away samples from a recently-opened local specialty drink company. I was prepared to make a sizeable purchase and share their collateral (a good offer, by most business standards). All I asked was a donated t-shirt for my prize basket. After a drop-by, a couple calls and no response, I went to another, more established local specialty drink company, who was pleased with the arrangement.

Surprised and disappointed indeed, the ironic piece is that, another sponsor at the fundraiser mentioned to me that he had wanted to partner with the same organization but they’d not responded to his query. Wow. How many times has this drink company turned down business?

So, I’ve been wondering why a business wouldn’t respond to a large-purchasing potential customer:

* Not in the process: If an organization is devoted to their regular-way-of-doing-things, sometimes it’s difficult to budge, even if it leads to more customers and profit.

* The No factor: We all know that it’s so much easier to say No, than to figure out a way to say Yes. Over the years I’ve seen so many potential leaders falter because they’re quick to cross things off their list: no, done, not applicable. Sure, it can be safe and tempting to decline, especially if it’s out of the ordinary, but couldn’t it extraordinary?

* Laziness: Okay, I don’t really mean lazy, but maybe the decision-maker isn’t really committed to the goals of the organization itself. It’s an important obstacle – sometimes we have the wrong people in place, or sometimes we don’t clarify our vision.

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