Philosophy Maintenance Pitch

Repeating mistakes of the past, a tiny elite cushioning themselves at the expense of the rest, ‘othering’ the vast majority as perennial victims. A culture that perhaps describes many a corporation. Especially ones resistant to your Proposal of progress.

Yet in this case, it refers to the eggshells that is South Africa.

Their state-run (state-captured) energy provider, Eskom, is in tatters. An eye-watering $30bn debt burden. Outages costing the economy $8bn last year alone.  A series of seemingly random powercuts – euphemistically termed loadshedding – are crippling the country. Reasons for this are manifold. Rampant corruption, a neglect for planning, a legion in post highly rewarded yet unable (or unwilling) to fulfil their duties.

Now a brand new ceo is in town. With an 18-month plan to stabilise then turnaround.

One key facet is a transition to ‘philosophy maintenance‘.

In broad terms, this is a switch from rushing to fix every breakdown as it occurs in a mad chase from one disaster to the next, towards a planned maintenance program everywhere – with an allied action, ‘mid-life refurbishment’ – regardless of whether any gasket has blown.

Or another way of looking at it; just “maintenance”.

For pretty much any business purchase you make must be maintained.

And this is not restricted to the unscrew-oil-rescrew mode either.

It’s a kind of Murphy’s Law. You only realise how crucial something is when it breaks down.

This can apply to more intangible fixtures as well.

As an aside, How is your sales effort ‘maintained’? Is there genuine efforts to lift up the bonnet every now and then? Or only when the wheels come off and market share is cliff-dropping does intervention begin?

An aim within the basket of remedy measures here, seems to be to create ‘headroom’.

The problem historically with maintenance clauses and associated costs, are that nothing is expected to go wrong in the early usage. After all, many a ‘warranty’ style period can get thrown in upon signature. And the person buying perhaps doubts they’ll still be in-post years down the line and so not have to deal with any fallout.

Buyers can view it as a risk worth, if you like, ‘self-insuring’ for. The odd widget needing replacing might get justified as being cheaper to fix as a once-off rather than under a costly ongoing ‘plan’.

I don’t subscribe to that view.

So if you’re battling to prove your project-length hand-holding, the SA energy collapse could be a useful cautionary tale. Especially by raising your prospect’s approach on the concept of philosophy maintenance.

Subscribe to Salespodder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.