Some executive leaders have a high propensity to change. Others, not so much.
Proactive: There are some who will be proactive about making the changes necessary to improving and growing their business. This category of person, typically a leader, doesn’t wait for problems to grow so big as to cause their business to struggle before they act. Instead, they make the changes necessary before they are urgently necessary.
Selling to the proactive is easier because they are perpetually open to new ideas and seek a competitive advantage. They want to move before their competitors and before it is required of them.
Reactive: This category will only act when they can no longer resist changing. Things have to get really bad before these people will make any significant change. Their business will need to suffer significantly before they do anything about the problems or challenges harming their business.
Selling to the reactive is easy when they reach the threshold that forces them to change. But they are difficult to sell to before they reach that tipping point.
In-between: This category of person lives between these two poles. They won’t be proactive and do something before it is necessary, but they also won’t wait until their challenges are so great that it calls for an emergency intervention. As their results are degraded over time, they start to act to change things. If the proactive group moves fast, this group moves slowly—but they do move.
Those between the two poles can be moved towards change by capturing mind share and through your excellent salesmanship.
Unmoved: There are some who are unmoved and who will not change regardless of the circumstances. They will defend the status quo, even when all evidence suggests it should be abandoned. Their business will shrink over time and will likely be found in the dustbin of history or their leaders replaced.
Spending time here is normally a mistake. There are some who can’t be sold, even when not acting costs them everything. Your desire to help them isn’t matched on their side, and your vision isn’t something they are willing to see.
One of the ways to decide where and how you spend your time is to look at with whom you are spending it.