Business culture Competition Creativity Customer relationships customer retention Improvement Management Marketing Positioning Sales service Small Business Strategy The Slight Edge

Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed

Batmobile car at Hot Wheels booth, ComicCon 2007, San Diego, CA.jpg
Creative Commons License photo credit: gruntzooki

Would airlines be (more?) profitable if they didn’t have to pay for the fuel to get their planes from the runway to 35,000 feet?

I’m guessing they would. Think about all the fuel it takes to lift half a million pounds (or so) of aluminum, fuel, people, iPods and 3 ounce shampoo bottles all the way to 35,000 feet.

A lot. From the research I’ve done, it takes about twice as much fuel to climb as it does to cruise. There are variables, but that’s the basics.

Whether you run an airline or a flower shop, how you get started is important.

What it costs in time and money to get a new customer rocking and rolling with your product and service is more than important.

Set the tone

How you get started usually sets the tone for everything that comes after that point.

As I may have told you that back in the prehistoric days (ie: the photo software), we were always looking for a way to shorten the sales cycle. To find a way to make people think “yep, gotta have that now” vs. “gotta have that, but maybe next quarter”.

We talked about this a little not long ago when pet peeves was the topic of the day.

One of the pet peeves of any custom software product is the setup process. In the case of a detailed, vertical market package like ours (and perhaps like yours), “teaching” the software how you run your business isn’t easy.

We had one couple tell us that they put it off for 6 months and ended up renting a hotel room for the weekend just to get the setup task behind them. Well meaning, always intending to do it, but never could get enough quiet time to educate our software – until they got a room.

Hello? McFly? Am I paying attention to that?


Yes, of course we started doing the setup for them. I may have told that story here before. Doesn’t matter – it’s that important.

It transformed our sales process and started our customers off so fast that they were productive in short order.

It was a killer start to our relationship because it allowed our experts to set the software up right (kinda important) and the information they sent us (price lists, policies, documents and such) helped us understand our new customer’s business.

Oh, and they loved it because we did it for them and their investment started getting used right away.

But that isn’t why I brought it up (though it’s a pretty good reason.


And that’s what I’m getting at today. That setup thing got them started with a bang. In no time, they were productive and at cruising altitude at almost no cost to them in time or hard dollars.

No excuses. 7 days from purchase to startup. Everyone’s head turns at that “no time or hard dollar cost” thing – especially in 7 days.

What can you do to make the climb to cruising altitude easier for your clientele?

Whether you sell software, coffee beans, tax services or lawn tractors, I’ll bet there’s something (else) you could be doing to make the climb a little bit (or a lot) easier.

Now…imagine what a competitive edge it will be when you can say something like this: “If you buy our planes and use our maintenance services, we’ll pay for the fuel required to get our planes from takeoff to cruising altitude and we’ll do it for as long as your service contract is in force.”

Obviously you’ll be saying it in the context of what you do – but I think you get the idea, mostly because my example is so far fetched.

Perhaps best of all, I’ll bet you can find something awesome without giving away 6500 lbs of jet fuel every day (per plane).

Imagine how profitable airlines would be if they didn’t have to pay for the fuel to get their planes from the runway to 35,000 feet.

2 replies on “Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed”

Comments are closed.