Another happy find from Football punditry. This time via a chopper centre-half that used to revel in pinching the lovehandles of opposing strikers.
He referred to the importance of putting in a “reducer”. To him, this is a tackle you make that stops the opposition mounting an attack. It’s preferably made in the opponent’s half. The more niggly the better.
What you seek to do is stop any momentum and flow building. And make it look innocent so that you avoid the yellow card sanction of a caution.
It offered intriguing insight.
The glory of the web provides an interesting general definition for ‘reducer’;
To bring down, as in extent, amount, or degree; diminish
Then I discovered there is also a recognised engineering application;
A reducer is the component in a pipeline that reduces the pipe size from a larger to a smaller bore (inner diameter). The length of the reduction is usually equal to the average of the larger and smaller pipe diameters. There are two main types of reducer: concentric and eccentric reducers.
And of course, the slang footie version doesn’t escape internet illumination;
Football term, by where a player (usually of lesser ability) will attempt to tackle an opposition player (usually of superior ability) in a grossly unfair and extremely violent manner, so as to let the opposition player know that if he values his family jewels then today might be a good day to have an “off day”. The reducer is often aimed at knee height of the opposition player (or in extreme cases, the testicles), and will usually take place in the first few minutes of the game.
That last one gets quite harsh.
In each case, the idea of slowing something down is one that tickled my Sales sensibility.
We’ve all been there. The tornado of the competitive force seems to be spinning us out of contention. Whether it be due to an entrenched or panicked incumbent, the regressive stubborn status quo, or indeed a sparky shiny alternative. There are times when we’re not getting the hearing we deserve.
This is where a ready-made reducer can come in very handy.
What can halt their charge? Make the prospect take stock. Investigate in a fashion favourable to you. Shift the ground slightly our way.
When selling (as I invariably tend to) against a vocally cheaper bid, a winner is often the age old on-cost versus day-one-cost comparison.
Anything that gets the prospect onto your turf works. Delivery, future-proofing, strategy matching, compatibility, problem eradication.
Then there’s the lever you pull to set the tracks on this path. Level-selling to the chief exec is a textbook steer. Yet a groundswell from the (maybe only) one party that is on-side can be brought to bear too.
In any event, reducers can certainly sway the balance your way. What’s yours…?