Be Better Than Rating Agency One In Three

1 in 3.

A ratio with lots of Sales significance.

When I first began selling, the winners in the team drummed into me that the minimum success expected is sign-up one in three bids you chase. Superstars do better still.

On business telly this week I caught a European VP of ratings agency Standard & Poor. I hold such – and from the other pair of Moody’s and Fitch – in the same contempt as bankers.

And here’s one more reason why. Discussing South Africa’s imminent downgrading to junk status, he remarked – with what sounded risibly like pride;

one in three outlooks move in the direction of our guidance

I couldn’t believe it. A man happy two in three are losers.

Worse, how vague can you get with his idea of “direction’?

Think it through. There’s only two directions, right? Up or down. Tossing a coin would give one in two. These guys can’t even manage what – to use the phrasing of dataviz wizard Professor Hans Rosling – a chimp choosing banana ‘a’ or banana ‘b’ could guess right.

If you stretch their slack a touch, and add a direction of ‘non-mover’, staying the same, then they are still only at the same as random.

This was compounded by his CEO showing irritation at the term ‘junk’. Insisting they don’t use the word. It reminded me of the idiot RAF guy saying pilotless aircraft are not to be called drones. Clown.

These people do not deserve your attention. Certainly not your money.

Make sure your forecast has a better hit than one in three. Beat the raters. Beat your target.

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