Friday, 3 May 2002

How Mercedes Out Prepared Ferrari And How You Can Do The Same To Your Competitors

How did Mercedes out prepare Ferrari? Many races are won weeks, months or even years before the green flag of the race. If a checkered flag is like closing a sale, the sales process starts a long time before your customer places an order. Can you be better prepared and increase your sales?

How Mercedes out prepared Ferrari

There was an interesting article in Autoweek this week; "Advantage Mercedes". The article talks about how Mercedes was simply better prepared and as a result won the 2014 Formula One Championship. With all the complex new rules in Formula One it is more important than ever to be on top of them as changes are far reaching and rigorous. The move by Mercedes to integrate the chassis and power train under one development roof worked out well. Without that, the Mercedes engineers might not have had the insight of placing the turbo in front of the engine rather than in the back. This proved to be a stroke of genius that went a long way to winning the 2014 Championship and illustrates how Mercedes out prepared Ferrari.

Racing Formula One and preparing for it might not be unlike running your business. Granted, it is probably a bit more exciting but think about it, it is actually very similar. What are the game changers in your industry?

Are you in stiff competition with very worthy adversaries that also employ very bright people? Do the years of development finally pay off when your product outperforms your competitor's? You see, Formula One is not unlike any of our businesses.

In racing for the US Championship I learned that the months of preparation back at the race shop is what allowed us to win 2nd place in the US Championship. It was not the days at the track, although they were also absolutely necessary. It was all the prep work that had been done on our cars in the months and weeks leading up to the race days. It is always interesting in looking at the starting grid. In the front 1/3 of the grid are the best teams that proved quickest in qualifying. The cars are spotless, the drivers and crew are all in clean uniforms, nothing is out of place or present without a clearly planned purpose. The second 1/3 of the grid has the teams that weren't quickest but something didn't allow them nearer the top. The cars are a little less prepared, not all is gleamingly clean and there typically are fewer people in various outfits milling about. The third 1/3 is a disaster. People are still scrambling to get things done, there are tools, parts, some hoods are open, etc. Race prep is still going on while they're on the starting grid!

Your business and your competitors can be gridded in the same way. Where is your business on the starting grid? When meeting customers are your sales people fully prepared and are your products or services completely ready for prime time? Selling something is not unlike winning a race. It is all the preparation before the sale that allows the sale to succeed.

With your success in mind,

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