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and then the Donkey got smarter…

Business Strategy, Entreprenuership, Uncategorized

donkey evades the carrot 

If you’re a service provider/ seller, how often have you heard from your clients/ prospects about future bigger projects/ deals/ business that they would like to bring to you. But only if you do an unbelievable job on the current project at an extremely competitive price point. Or how often have you received a call from a buddy of yours who never seem to return your phone call, but calls now to offer you an amazing opportunity that is coming down the pike, but of course, only after you do a favor for them. Well, I too have been naive enough to chase these “perpetual” carrots. Even Donkeys catch on after a while, and so have I.

Here’s some advice- anyone who wants to help you, should help you unconditionally.  Once you receive the favor, you definitely should return it, but it should be something unsaid and not demanded by the person doing you the favor.  Do not bend over backwards for clients that promise you the sky afterwards.  It is always good to go the extra mile for your customers, but do not fool yourself into thinking that the customer would really bring you more business once they are done with the current one. That being said, every situation is unique. There may be cases where do you want to act the donkey, if the customer is a name brand customer that will help you improve your portfolio of clients, etc.

This is specially true in the world of BPO/outsourcing/ offshoring.  The whole idea of the Gain-Share or better put, Carrot and Stick model where the vendor gets a reward for meeting/ beating targets and penalized for missing them is the perfect example. Setting aspirational targets, that are not based on any median/mean/ historical calculations, is a recipee for disaster. The vendor will give up trying becoming disillusioned if it feels that the targets are unachievable.

This also applies in the case of direct employees.  If one does not incent employees appropriately, the good employees will move on. 

My advice to people dangling the carrots is to keep it real.  It serves no purpose when one makes false promises.  People are smart enough..

My advice to us donkeys :) is to not be a dumb ”donkey”; take some time to check if the carrot is for real or just a mirage…

March 11, 2008   |   Posted by Imran Aftab


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