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Worshiping The Black Oracle

In the Field Service Industry, we spend billions of dollars on marketing as we worship The Black Oracle, praying it will speak (ring) with new business. If you are a seasonal business-like pest control, heating and air conditioning it is feast and fathom, living for the “season” and staving for sales production in the off-season.

Admit it, we (all of us in the field service industry involved in sales) have become spoiled. No one wants to cultivate new business the old way and frankly, it is out dated. Door to door sales is much written about but face it, unless you are from Salt Lake City, Utah, your people are not good at it and they won’t do it. Clover leafing, door hanging, phone rodeos, it’s all crisis management. When sales are down and the Black Oracle is not singing you panic, put the pressure on the sales managers who in turn abuse the salesforce. Yelling and threatening sales teams is archaic and counterproductive. Here is a little tip for those that fall into that crisis, if you push the sales force to hard you will do more damage than good. You wind up with bad sales, dishonest efforts and damage the image of the company to a point that all the marketing dollars in he world will not repair.

So, what is the answer? Basically, it is a cultural change and it is not easy. Most companies are setting on the largest reservoir of potential sales in the known world and are clueless as to how to harvest it. The customer base is the perpetual fuel source that could reduce the dependence on the Black Oracle, increase opportunities and boost sales to keep the company from crisis management.

It is a total paradigm shift from bottom to top, a complete cultural change from the spoiled expectations of the sales force to the benevolent untrained sales managers that are pushed to deliver but have no clue how to make it rain. These topics are uncomfortable, no one wants to upset the norm but if you want to break the addiction of the Black Oracle there is only one way and that to understand that the way it has been done in the past is an up and down cycle of success and failure depending on the damn phone to ring.

The problem is most companies can be successful to a degree with the sins of the past so change is difficult. For innovative companies that are willing to step outside the box and break from the past, growth is alarming and hard to keep up with.

It’s a RAT thing.

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