Here’s my perspective:  “Companies don’t fail due to a lack of financial capital. They fail due to a lack of intellectual capital.”

Let me put it in even simpler terms: Companies fail because people don’t think. It’s always easier to blame someone else for our problems. It’s what most people do, and besides, we all believe we’re brilliant. Any set back could not possibly be associated with us; therefore, it has to be somebody else’s fault, right?

Now I’m not going to say 100% of all failures are due to a lack of intellectual capital, but I will say the number is probably close to 97%. Let me explain why. Any business is in business to satisfy customer needs. If things work out correctly, they can fill those needs at a value for which customers are willing to pay and at an amount that is more than the company has to spend to prepare the item for sale.  It’s that simple – nothing complex, nothing behind the magic curtain. Just sell something for more than it costs to make it and you’re fine. Well, not quite.

We all know there are numerous other factors that can and do come into play with regard to how a business operates, and it’s all of these other circumstances that require the proper use of intellectual capital.  The level of intellectual capital in any business is going to vary dramatically. More importantly, how the intellectual capital is ultimately used is going to determine the success or failure of a business.

In my role as a sales consultant, I’ve watched a great number of people with incredible sums of intellectual capital not being challenged at all to contribute. At the same time, I’ve watched people who are, for lack of a better phrase, “a few dollars short upstairs,” making all of the decisions without any input.

Whenever I work with salespeople or any other business professionals, including CEOs, I love to challenge them with a few simple questions.  Here goes:

What did you learn yesterday?

How did you apply today what you learned yesterday?

What do you expect to learn today?

Intellectual capital is a powerful resource.  Sadly, so few people and companies comprehend its worth.

Stand out from the crowd in this area, okay? Be the person who is never standing still when it comes to acquiring intellectual capital. Your sales motivation deserves this!

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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