I have been in the business world for more than 40 years, and if you could see me you can tell that I have had lunch approximately 10,920 times during my working career. During the first 3 years of my working life I ate lunch in the store almost exclusively so that takes us down to 9,620 lunches. So, let’s say that 5% of the time (a little less than 3 times per year for the following 37 years) someone bought me lunch. That would mean that, in my working career, I got a “free” lunch nearly 500 times. Let me give you a few more facts about me. I am not particularly good looking, I am very opinionated, and while I think I am funny all of the time, others might not agree with me. In short, I am not as much fun at lunch as say, Jerry Seinfeld. Heck, I am not as much fun as Jerry Jones.
If you think about this, the people taking me to lunch for free were not taking me for free after all. They were actually putting food in me for other reasons. As I think we can rule out a conspiracy with my cardiologist and the folks at Life Fitness to clog my arteries, then the only thing left is they wanted me to work for them. There was something in it for them and they figured that paying me with food was a less expensive and more expedient way than actually paying me. They looked at me and came to the quick conclusion that a Big Mac, Jumbo Jack, or What-A-Burger with fries was a small price to pay for them to get access to either me or my friends. Instead of “will work for food” they held up a sign that said “we want you to work for fries.” And you know what? I did it…sometimes.
They wanted to just “chat” about a location, a new technology, a new data source, better health care programs, faster communications, unique marketing ideas, or sponsorship of race cars. Heck, in today’s world, drug reps bring lunch to doctors offices nearly every day just so they can have access to the doctors and their staff. So for their free lunch they are pushing the latest new drug that will make you thinner, have more hair, breathe easier, eliminate pain, think more clearly, and all with just minor incontinences like headaches, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. What could be a better deal than that?
There are actually some real costs to a free lunch. One of the biggest costs is inertia. We all know what inertia is -the lack of energy to get something moving. Like if you have teenage children and YOU want THEM to clean their room and THEY want to sleep in on Saturday morning. They have inertia and you NEED something to motivate them. My dad would just tickle us until we got ourselves in gear. That was his catalyst to our inertia.
Nowadays when someone asks me to do something for them for a free lunch I tend to have inertia. That is, I mean to get to it, but other stuff seems to get in the way. Stuff like sleep, work, free lunch, grandkids, did I mention free lunch. So, while I sometimes get around to getting the free stuff done (just like I get around to my wife's list for me) I don’t ever do it with the same vigor that I do “work.” Work has always been important to me. If someone is going to pay me to do a job, I want to do a good enough job that they will pay me to do it the next time it needs to get done.
So, if this is all true, (and it is) why would someone expect me to be involved in their sales process where they can make tens of thousands of dollars for a “free” lunch? How can they expect me to give them access to one of my most valuable assets (my Rolodex or contact list -for those of you under 40) and not pay me for my time and effort? Either they don’t value my asset (they do or they would not ask to use it), they don’t value me (they do, they take me to lunch after all), or the custom is just wrong.
Taking me to lunch just got more expensive. In my household I am no longer the cheap date I used to be. I won’t settle for a burrito from Chipotle or Orange Chicken from Panda. I want to be driven to do a better job for my friends. If they want access to my Rolodex, I am happy to help them, but I want to be driven to do a good job for them. I want to be driven to learn enough about their business so I can get them an appointment with my friends. I want to make their success my first priority, to represent them instead of just delivering a favor.
And that is the reason that Axcelora was created. A process that is so stunningly simple there is no reason not to engage with Axcelora. Instead of asking one friend that might be able to help, you can now engage a company that has many Partners anxious to help you shorten the sales cycle by making introductions for you because they are not working for a free lunch. They are working for you and the success of your company.
We are a group of executives that wants to help you win your next business deal, but we won’t do it for a free lunch any more. We want to, and must be driven to get the job done. Engage with Axcelora and see the results you have been looking for.
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