This time it’s personal!

A few days ago, my coach (yes, even coaches need coaches) suggested to me that my website was, possibly, confusing its audience – given that it often referred to “we” when it should clearly refer to “I” when I myself, Malcolm Duffield, propose to do something, be something, or have an opinion on something. Of course, I do work with associates when it makes sense – when I can combine their passion and experience with mine to get a more powerful outcome – so ‘we’ is occasionally grammatically correct. But mostly I work alone, so he may have a point.

Now, you have to understand that my coach, Andre Burki, is Swiss (as is my wife by strange coincidence) and they can at times be pedantic; they tend not to take the more ‘freeform’ approach to the English language that many native speakers adopt. But his pedantry (which I suspect he deliberately targeted to drive my thinking) initiated this thought-train: “why do I seek the safety of the herd (collective ‘we’) when I actually believe passionately and personally (and occasionally, seemingly uniquely) in what I offer, in what I have observed and in what I write?”. (Yes, I use ‘Jazz’ punctuation, too – my English teacher, Fred Plater, may be saddened by it – but he wouldn’t be surprised.)

However, that train of thought has rattled around my head for over a week now, with occasional pause to refuel and add mass it has become effectively unstoppable. Hence I have come to the conclusion that whilst it may well be easier to follow the ‘conventional wisdom’ proposed by the majority of sales training and coaching practitioners – I just flat out don’t agree with it and should have the courage of my convictions to say so!

This conclusion has a number of consequences of course: abandoning the comfort of even the notion of my own tiny herd (my ‘associates’) puts me out there singularly and wholly accountable (actually something I usually seek); it allows me to truly declare a “Blue Ocean” of opportunity (read the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Kim and Mauborgne to appreciate just how important this is); it means that my freshly minted web-site will need some further subtle editing, and; it removes a whole chunk of potential prospects (i.e. those who follow ‘conventional wisdom’) which may well represent over 90% of the market. This last point is particularly pertinent – as removing such a large but essentially specious list of ‘suspects’ allows me to put more accurately targeted sales effort into the remaining enlightened 10% (I accept that these estimates may be wildly generous – it could well be more like 1%).

Still, pure sales hunters know that ‘big game’ isn’t caught with a net!

So, from now on it’s all about me; what I do, and what I can do for you.