If you’ve trave
led on the Underground in London you will be familiar with the term “mind the gap.” Mind the gap is painted in large letters on the edge of every Tube station platform.
As each train stops at the station a recorded message warns passenger to “mind the gap.” The same announcement is made just before the train doors close.
Mind the gap refers to the space between the edge of the platform and threshold of the train. If you have never travelled the Tube you might get the impression that this gap is huge, but in actuality it’s only a few inches. The gap is a lot bigger if the train is not in the station!
You can single out the tourists on the Tube. They’re the ones looking down and taking great care getting on and off trains. In the meantime, commuters have tuned out the loud speakers and are trying to climb over the tourists blocking the door.
When it comes to your business the warning should be “FIND the gap.” The gap is some form of breakdown in communication between the products or service you offer and the potential client. If the gap didn’t exist the client wouldn’t be “potential” anymore. They would be an “existing” client.
How can you tell if the gap exists? Simple, your phone is not ringing! The easy part is accepting that a gap exists. The tough part is finding it. Don’t expect to find big arrows pointing to the gap. You have to search for it and you’ll know it when you find it. Look under every rock, in every nook and cranny of your organization. Talk to employees at all levels. They may have seen the gap already and thought nothing of it. They didn’t realize it was a gap.
The gap could be something as simple as sales staff not following up on new inbound leads because they’re too busy with existing clients. Salaried sales staff may not be too excited to increase their workload for the same wage. In this scenario, you are paying twice for the advertising because new prospects never hear back from the company. That’s a huge gap!
Do you monitor inbound leads? This may sound unlikely but it is a strong possibility. I have experienced this situation with companies. One CEO denied it was happening until he was proven wrong.
Where are the leads coming from? Are they a direct result of your advertising? If you’re not receiving leads check that you’re advertising is targeting the right audience.
Take time to travel with your outside sales team. Are they presenting the product or service correctly? Are they a positive extension of your brand? Do prospects appear to like the sales person?
I said talk to all employees. I have seen companies lose customers because accounting staff were too abrasive when calling about late receivables.
When you find the gap, don’t stop. Keep looking because there might be more, or the gap is bigger than you realize.
Find the gap. Mend the gap. Repeat.
Need help finding the gap, call us. We can search with fresh eyes!