Gerry Robinson is a fella that gives good business telly. I’ve blogged about his insight before. Whilst the format of his latest show (Gerry’s Big Decision) as these things are want to do, goes out of its way to focus on the human drama of tears, tension and tantrums within workplaces, once or twice during the hour-long programme you do occasionally get treated to his business thinking.
The idea is that Gerry visits companies just hours away from folding to assess whether he should invest as a personal saviour.
Last night’s Channel 4 episode looked at two breweries. He elected (as he pointed out, against his better judgement) to pump £150k into the Itchen Valley Brewery.
I for one viewer was surprised he did so, given several of the negative exchanges shown on camera. We all know mischievous editing can distort the truth by 180°, but when he first suggested a change to the assembled half-a-dozen workforce, one reaction was priceless.
He wanted the Boss’s girlfriend (who’d mortgaged her home to keep the business afloat, and all employees in work) to become general manager. One guy then brutally quipped along the lines of, “you’ve had a week and that’s all you’ve come up with?”
Gerry was visibly taken aback. How could someone from the factory floor question the judgement of a multi-millionaire that conducts deals worth billions? His response was to first explain how the chap should receive a slap round the ear, and then to motion that the idea is at least tried, rather than doing nothing when all agreed that to do nothing was suicide.
His follow-up talking-head comment is vital food for thought to any solution sales person in the midst of a difficult and taxing campaign:
the people who are the biggest contributors are often the most awkward
A superb analysis, and one that can be used to our advantage when trying to make something happen on a deal. The usual approach applies. What is it about the impact of the change you propose that really worries them, and where precisely is their genuine and desirable personal win out of what you’ll bring?