The Importance of Failing Fast

Sad BusinessmanWhen I talk about “failing fast,” people get excited. Failing fast in pursuit is a sexy concept.

But in practice, failing fast in go-to-market strategies goes against human nature.

The normal thing we do when we’re in pursuit of a client – especially if it is an account that will take some time to develop – is think “I’m just one chit away from going to the next level with this client.”

Like a gambler who is just “one hand away from winning it all,” we talk ourselves into continuing to invest because we think we’re so close.

We develop relationships, invest in the client, spend money on their foundation and get to know them as people. But that’s not the insane thing. The insane thing is that after all of that, then we do a go/no-go analysis. After all that investment of time and money. After our hopes and expectations are up.

Failing Fast – In Practice

I’m going to challenge you to do something different:

Learn to unhook at the beginning of the process.

In the first 4-8 weeks – 12 weeks max – make the decision.

Based on what you know of the client, the business and political issues you’ve unearthed surrounding their industry, and your own gut instincts, decide if it’s a go or a no-go. Decide if you are going to stick with this pursuit and make things happen, or bail out right now.

Unhook from clients you instinctively feel are not going to work — within the first several weeks of the relationship. That’s how you fail fast and keep moving.

The Bottom Line

Relationship development is a long-term commitment. Considering it takes about 12 months to build a typical project relationship, making the go/no-go decision in the first 4-8 weeks can be scary. But it’s pivotal for faster, more sustainable revenue growth.


Leave a Reply

Revenue Growth Workshops

Stewardship to Equity