Monday, December 6, 2010

What’s the Difference Between a Business Issue and a Critical Business Issue?

If you have ever “lost” business to “No Decision”, the following may be one reason:

All of us have “Business Issues” that we face every day – and that we do nothing about. “My laptop is slow, my cube is small, the commute traffic is terrible…” and so forth. We just live with these Business Issues. We may not like the status quo, but we don’t take action. A Critical Business issue is one that we are willing to address through the application of tangible resource – time, people, or money – to get it fixed or solved.

Here’s a wonderful example of the difference:

How long would you continue to drive your car with a slightly annoying squeak coming from the front wheels? A few days? A week? Month? Longer? Very few people will take their car to have the squeak diagnosed right away. Many more will do nothing, unless the squeak gets (markedly) worse. Others won’t do anything until something overt (and most likely bad!) happens… It is simply another “Business Issue” as long as the situation doesn’t change.

On the other hand, what if the brake warning light came on or the squeak changed to a horrible howl? Most people would get their car looked at right away, even if it meant taking time from work or home life, and spending a few hundred dollars for the repair. That’s because the issue is now critical – a Critical Business Issue!

Many sales opportunities go to “No Decision” because the customer didn’t consider the problem to be sufficiently important to address – it wasn’t perceived as a Critical Business Issue.

1 comment:

Peter E. Cohan said...

Here's another example (from a recent Great Demo! Workshop participant): the difference between a symptom and the disease... You could address the symptom but not cure the disease, as well!