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Scaling Your Channel Business with Dehydrated Water

I recently saw this funny gag product at Meow Wolf in Las Vegas. Dehydrated Water - think about that for a minute. An empty can, just add water and you have a gallon of water. OK, my sense of humor can be odd, but it cracked me up.

And, it made me think of how scaling business is turning into dehydrated water in the's empty words devoid of the actual thing. 

"Scale" is popular. Want to get a CXO's attention? Mention how your solution will help them scale. How do you impress your manager? Throw out some stuff about scaling operational output. 

It's all good stuff, and for those who truly understand what is required to build systems and strategies that scale effectively with a low error rate, it's critical to successful longevity for businesses.

For the professional who is obsessed with providing the very best customer experience, it is the fuel to drive growth.

But here's what I'm noticing in the IT distribution channel. I'm noticing more marketers and salespeople who have selfish ambitions. 

At first, it sounds enticing and freeing...

"Use .ai to write content faster so you can scale your business."

"Buy into that emerging software because it will automate your workflow so you can scale your marketing."

"Focus on events and use content libraries and virtual events for follow-up so you can reach more people."

But...there's a subtle thread in the talk track - what is left unspoken is the passive neglect of the customer's needs. 

In my world, it can be tempting to focus on building and providing content en masse - and we should and do. 

But we MUST have an identified outcome, strategy, and value system behind our activities. This should lead to 1-to-1 meaningful conversations with our customers that result in revenue-generating activity (for them and us). 

Here are three questions to ask yourself next time you think a new tech or program will help you scale...

  1. Do I have a written outcome I expect?  I had a manager who would say "Outcome first, Products third". Notice there is no #2. That's intentional. Don't spend time thinking about products if you haven't already spent time thinking about your outcomes.
  2. Have I paused to sketch out a strategy of how to provide a better experience for my customer? This is a gut-check question. Are you interested in this tech or this program because of what it does for you, or what it does for your customer? If I borrow my former manager's quote and re-phrase it here, I'd say "Customer experience first, me fifth." When people become part of the equation, I need to move even farther back in the line of importance.
  3. Have I considered the sustainability and quality of the solution? This is what it means to really understand scale through the lens of your value system. If you can't answer this question clearly, you may just be attracted to the solution for what it seems it will do for you. It will require a sustainable plan of how and who will do the work, along with how you will provide a level of quality assurance of the output. This matters, because your customer matters.

If you have found this helpful, I'd love to chat. You can book 30 minutes of my time through the "request a meeting" link here on the website.