How To Turn A Trend Into A Sale

Every day here at RESET, we talk to owners at the highest levels within organizations and institutions about how they want to compete, how they want to engage with their customers, and how they want to leverage various stakeholders.

Combine this with our methodology designed to leverage connections, it puts us in the unique position to see trends that most firms can’t spot.

So when people press us and ask, “How did you guys see this? How is it that you’re noticing these trends?”, we answer honestly:

Spotting trends is at the core of our practice.

It’s literally what we do.

And it all starts with understanding the business and political issues that drive almost every single owner:

  • What’s their operating model?
  • Who are their stakeholders?
  • Who are their customers?
  • Who are their employees?

These are the things that drive them as an entity.

There’s one thing, however, that helps us spot trends more than anything else. And this is what we are laser-focused on:

How they are competing.

When we can get insight on what are they going to do, disruptively, to ramp up their ability to compete—this is where the trend-spotting magic happens. And this is what I want to illustrate for you in this post.

The Harsh Truth: Owners Are Over-Attached, and Investors Are Clumsy

Most owners of current assets are way too close to those assets. This tends to limit their creativity, and makes them emotionally attached to those assets as well. We see this happen in higher education. We see it in healthcare. We see it in just about every institutional client that we talk to.

To help them get some perspective, we show them that while those assets are worth a lot of money, they don’t need to sell them to drive revenue growth. They can just sell what’s known as a net operating income, and then focus more on how they’re going to compete.

And while owners may be too close to their assets, the investment community tends to be clumsy.

People tend to think of Wall Street as wanting outrageous returns. What we’ve learned, though, is that there are actually huge oceans of money in sovereign wealth funds or pension funds where investors actually expect much smaller returns but with more consistency over a longer period of time. Where Wall Street is clumsy is that they don’t know how to find these assets.

This is part of what we facilitate.

Case in Point: The Port Opportunity

One of the most competitive businesses today is what’s going on with ports — and it’s a perfect example of where owners, investors, and service providers have the opportunity to partner up for mutual benefit.

You might not think of ports as big business, but for many regions, ports are huge economic drivers. For these regions it’s critical that their ports are effective, not only from a cruise terminal standpoint, but also from a cargo terminal standpoint. And those ports are under economic pressure. They typically don’t have big financial capabilities.

What we’ve found, though, is that these ports actually have very attractive assets to Wall Street. And they usually don’t realize this — not because their leadership is not intelligent or competent, but because concession thinking has not typically been leveraged in the

United States. This is unfamiliar territory for them, and it’s something we’re able to guide them through to better leverage the assets they already have.

The final piece of the puzzle is then helping our service provider clients see what’s happening, too — that with these ports (and other clients that they want to build for or design for, too), there are many competitive forces happening and they can help them to leverage those assets. This way of thinking changes the sales game pretty quick.

The Bottom Line

In the end, identifying trends is about making connections, then following where those connections lead to identify opportunities. If you’d like to learn more about how we do this, stop by our office or find us online at We’d love to talk!


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