Are you a cheetah or a lion?

It’s the difference between chasing business and getting business.

It came to my attention that the cheetah and the lion have different strategies for achieving the desired outcome. Their desired outcome is survival and having a meal.

The same could be said in business, where our objective is to do more than just survive, it’s to thrive and get a meal for ourselves, our employees and our stakeholders.

Although I like to use metaphors from nature, I don’t often use metaphors that involve violence. I guess using the predator and prey relationship as a metaphor doesn’t quite sit with me well when it comes to business.  That said, this is more about stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. The fact is that these things happen in nature, in life and in business.

The cheetah hunts in the long grass and the open fields.  It works carefully and meticulously to get close enough to its prey before expending the huge amount of energy required to utilise its strategic advantage – it’s unmatchable speed.  Many people are unaware that to achieve the speeds that the cheetah is capable of requires such a huge investment of energy that if the cheetah does not achieve the kill on that particular chase, the cheetah will take hours to recover and regain its strength to try again.  Although the cheetah will share the kill with others. The pursuit is often a solo effort.

Lions, on the other hand, are big cats. Lions are the only big cats to hunt cooperatively, herding prey towards an ambush or in to a situation that reduces the likelihood of escape for their prey.

As Lions do not have the speed of a cheetah, they employ a different strategy. One such strategy is to wait near a watering hole where they know that the deer, buffalo or zebra will come to drink. Then, while they are drinking and have let their guard down, the lions make their move.  Even if they fail, they know that other deer and zebra will come to the watering hole without having to chase them down.

I say all that to say this….

A number of consultants, coaches and trainers that I know and work with have a feast or famine approach to getting business. They work hard to position themselves and then expend an inordinate amount of energy to secure the deal.  If it should be the case that they do not get the work, it takes them time to recover physically, emotionally and otherwise before they can recharge to focus on the next big deal.

Then there are others. They are coaches, consultants and trainers who work in collaboration with others. They position themselves in the places and the communities where the people that they seek to work with congregate.  If they miss out on one deal, others will come.

Yes, this is a bit of a mixed and messy metaphor, but the lesson still stands.

You can chase the business by yourself and deal with the consequences that takes the form of feast or famine. Or you can save energy by positioning yourself where the business will come to you. You may not get the first deal, but you have more choice, because you know that they are coming back to meet an important need.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Who are you collaborating with to get more customers? Who are the people who work in a complimentary way with your ideal client? What communities are your ideal clients drawn to?

By being a prominent and credible (engaged) member of those communities. you can be well positioned for customers  to come to you. Then you can find out what problems your product or service can solve for them. Doing this can (with the intent to serve)help to draw more quality customers to you at your business.

We can do MORE together. http://www.lindsaycs.com

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