When Should You Pull the Plug?

One of our professional colleagues who shall remain unnamed shared an email with us the other day that qualified as the written equivalent of a cold call, and an inappropriate one at that. This is what it said:

Dear Sir,

I tried to call you, but you didn’t pick up. Because I didn’t want you to miss out, I’m sending you a transcript of how our call would have gone.

You: Hello.

Me: Hi. I’m calling from Cirrus MegaSystems, developer of thinware for insurance. Can I steal 2 minutes?

You: What do you want?

Me: We replace aging and inadequate core systems to modernize operations and improve the policyholder experience.

You: Well, we’re in the middle of implementing another system.

Me: Since you’re a customer of Amerisurica Worldwide, I thought their bad reputation might compel you to jump ship.

You: Things haven’t yet gotten ….

Me: A lot of Amerisurica customers are in the same boat. Cirrus MegaSystems would be a perfect fit for you.

You: I’m not ready to begin looking at other alternatives yet.

Me: Let’s schedule a demo anyway. It’s never to early to begin developing another plan in case things don’t work out.

Say what you want about the guy who wrote that email, but he was persistent. And he definitely put the cold in cold call.

Numbers Don’t Lie

We know the reality. Almost 40 percent of our new customers over the past four years came to us after failed or failing implementations. There are reasons for those failures, of course — a lack of defined goals, under-estimations of the effort, the resources, and the time required, and many more. And those reasons suggest there needs to be higher degrees of cognizance and vigilance about whether and when to find another vendor before more good time and money gets thrown after bad, before you burn through your budgets and the patience of your Board, and before heads start rolling.

You can’t allow vendors to stuff themselves down your throat. But at the point at which you start to sense trouble with an implementation, start preparing to pull the plug. And make sure you have a Plan B.

The company or the job you save may be your own.

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