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The Parallels Between Losing Weight and Gaining Margin

Jamie Kreppein< Jamie Kreppein October 14, 2020

I was talking with a colleague I hadn’t seen in some time recently and he mentioned how I appeared to have lost a lot of weight. I nodded and said thanks for noticing but he was pretty interested in some of the details so we spent the next half hour or so discussing just how I had done it. At the end of our conversation, he said, “it seems like personal excellence and commercial excellence have a lot in common.”  Let me explain.

I’m not sure why, but at 47 years old, I decided to change things up and start a real program to get healthier. It wasn’t really about weight, just more about feeling better. I was around 230lbs, a little down from my high of 250. I was playing hockey a few times a week, ate well enough, tried to be active as much as I could but still, I began to feel old. So, I started with a simple goal: go to the gym 6 days a week and do at least a half hour of cardio each of those days.

About 6 months in, I started to weigh myself and for the first time since probably the 4th grade, I was under 200lbs. Again, weight loss wasn’t my goal. I felt much better. I was playing better hockey. I was enjoying my workouts – I looked forward to them every day.

Next, I added a new dynamic to my regimen. I started experimenting with a plant-based diet. I’m an analyst at heart so I did a bunch of research on the topic and decided to give it a try. After about 3 months of the plant-based diet, I had a checkup with my doctor and he was stunned. And not by just the physical transformation but he was most blown away by the improvement in my stats. My cholesterol, BP, nutrient levels, etc. were great. He was stunned. Those are his words.

So how is this relevant to a commercial excellence discussion? Similar to me at the beginning of my journey, most businesses run OK. They have some process or another in place to make decisions and it keeps them in business, maybe it even delivers a bit of growth.

I hadn’t had any major medical trauma to warrant my physical change. If I had, I probably would have done the same things, just with a lot more on the line.  Many businesses are similar in that they wait for some major event before making changes to improve how they do what they do. Businesses are in business to make money and any people, process or technology that can help them improve their bottom line should be considered, vetted, applied, and analyzed often.

That commercial piece of the business is all about a company’s selling interaction with its customers and excelling at what separates leaders from laggards. It requires a strategy and tactics to manage and adapt that strategy easily and effectively. It requires a way to execute that strategy in the hands of those responsible for selling. And, it requires analysis and tweaking in the areas that still need improvement, leveraging as much automated analysis as possible.

This was all I did to improve my health. I had a strategy. I executed on my plan and then I had a way to analyze my results. From there, it’s rinse and repeat. Give me a call if you want to talk about it some more. But not before 9am, though – I’ll be at the gym.

To learn more about how commercial excellence strategies can benefit the health of your business, join our series of live virtual discussions during our Fall 2020 Commercial Excellence Month. You’ll learn best practices and actionable insights for accelerating your business recovery in 2021 and beyond.