May 10, 2016

The Haters Establish Momentum

In any rebuilding process, a third of your co-workers will be against anything you want to do.

And in a Customer Acquisition agenda, the folks who will stall your progress are those who love to "squeeze more out of the lemon". In other words, these folks love loyalty programs.

This spans a large audience, folks. 

You have an employee who sends four emails a week to existing customers. This employee will feel jilted by your focus on new customers.

You have an employee who works with the vendor community to get catalogs pushed to existing customers. This person is going to feel jilted by your focus on new customers. This person is going to feel validated by a vendor community who think you are a complete idiot and think the employee "gets it". Of course the employee "gets it". The employee does things that benefit the vendor more than the brand the employee works for. I see it every day. It's a cancer that runs through our industry.

Your job is to stall hater momentum.

I took over a team at Nordstrom. There were two communities that immediately established momentum against my team ... an information technology team that worked for the credit division (often competing for the same project load because skills were complementary), and a team in the Corporate Finance office. I learned about the latter while walking down the street. I was walking behind the Finance team ... and as it turned out, they were talking about my Business Intelligence Team. A Finance Director looked at his co-workers, and joked that the team didn't know Business, and that the team wasn't Intelligent. Ha ha ha ha ha ha the team laughed as we all stopped at a red light, waiting to cross the street.

The haters had momentum.

I stalled their momentum by leveraging the only momentum I had ... I made sure that my Business Intelligence Team worked on a series of projects for the Chief Financial Officer. While this doesn't change the opinions of mean, gossipy Directors who were stuck in the hot tar of the corporate pyramid, it does help build relationships with those the Directors report to. The goal, of course, is to stall hater momentum. You stop the commentary from going up the pyramid, and in the process of doing so, you end the negative impact of the commentary.

This is your job.

It is your job to stall hater momentum. You won't change minds, and that's ok. But you will stop the cancer from spreading across the organization.

You cannot let the haters build momentum. Your program is in place for a reason ... customer acquisition is the most important growth tool you possess. Your efforts will cause those who hate you to earn larger bonuses, and the haters will mock you even as they put down money on a new home, money you generated for them.

I know, I know, your corporate environment is unique and different. Fine. Then craft a solution that aligns with your organization. At least try to do something different ... right? If if your answer to that question is "wrong", then maybe you are the problem, right?