Stretching Your Expertise?

Here’s an interesting couple of chats I’ve had over the past few days.

A chap big in call centre design wondered if I could help evolve a microchip maker’s German and Filipino set ups.

I could help with all the people aspects. Moulding the agents around new conversations and how to ensure the growth from new product inspired fresh market alignment would materialise.

Yet with the technical back-up, getting your screwdriver out and fixing up all the necessary systems in the first place, well, that’s not what I’ve ever done at all.

So I decided to state this straight away at the beginning of our chat.

The feedback I got proved my policy was the correct one.

When later relating this to someone in construction, they commented that the same applies there. A trader always suffers if they say ‘yes’ to a request for say, building a fence, when their primary skill is really in plastering. They invariably do a lesser job than expected, no matter how well meaning, on the fence, and consequently, never get asked back to do the plastering, at which you’re world beating.

There’s an obvious sales parallel to this concept. Where are we pitching at the edges of our expertise? And where are we hammering away right on our sweet spot? If you’re trying to break into a new, big account with something at the edges, perhaps it’s time to think again…?

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