Psychographics Part I

For the first time ever we have dissolved an agreement before beginning a task.

From this tortured experience we learned a serious lesson in the importance of psychographics when measuring a prospect for services.

This perfect prospect had terrific cash resources and a great national plan for rolling up smalls in the industry.

The integration piece seemed direct, and the field was ripe for exit planning targets. Our ranked order criteria modeling made looking at a large number of similar candidates measurable and definable & our online interactive web tools were needed for accessing the massive amount of data that the simultaneous handling of hundreds of active candidates requires.

To further indicate a need for a more professional approach to acquisition were the multiple failures this firm had experienced in its prior acquisition attempts. Each story was a little more tragic than the last.

That should have been a red flag to our team. Unfortunately, it was only after the agreement was signed, the trips were taken, and the engagement was undertaken that we discovered the impossibility.

Five pound sledge hammers do not acquisition team members make.

Poor grammer, but a powerful concept.

Quickly it became clear that their key team member was a take no prisoners enforcer.

Nothing worked.

The agreement was torn up in our face and ridiculous addendums were retroactively required almost before their private jet had returned to the home office.

Suddenly, their failed acquisitions made perfect sense. This man’s single minded purpose was to bludgeon candidates, service providers, anyone that came in front of him, into submission. Signed agreements had no meaning. It was to be his way or nothing.

Long ago I learned not to fight with sledge hammers.

Trust is all there is in business as in life.

Destroy it, and the relationship becomes a painful fulfilling of thankless tasks doomed to keep the players on edge looking for a way to take more than they give.

It is a painful way to conduct business that insures a dearth of long term relationships and minimum performance.

Mike Tikkanen

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