Industry Views

Pending Business: Fall Back

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imWe all need to learn how to fall back. This is not about daylight saving, retreating, or backpedaling. This is about learning from the most valuable brand in tech, the oracle, and the best practices all of us in sales and management must learn to apply.

Let us start with Apple. Demand for the iPhone 15 is not lighting the tech world on fire as slow sales do not even come close to measuring up to the numbers delivered by its predecessors like the iPhone 13 when sales jumped 47% two years ago. What happened to all those Apple fanatics who would line up outside Apple stores or flood the Internet with orders ready to buy the next iPhone?

The must-have Apple loyalists were slowed down by the glitches in the iPhone 15 as we have come to expect design perfection. And why not, when you have nearly 1.5 billion users worldwide and sell nearly 100 million iPhones in the first two quarters of this year? Perfection expectations go hand-in-hand with momentum, innovation, and sales. Perhaps the challenge after 16 years of “new and improved” was too much. Tech is not Tide and Apple is not Procter and Gamble.

What are the lessons we can learn from this lower sales cycle?

— Never assume an unqualified welcome sign from your core customers. We earn the welcome sign every day. Fix the problem faster.

— Always deliver on the promise of new and improved.

— Better to delay than disappoint.

Famed Wall Street guru Warren Buffett recently dealt with losses in several of his holdings by being transparent with his stockholders about the challenges at several of his companies and navigating an unfriendly stock market. This is the same Warren Buffett who supported the Cap Cities minnow (remember that company?) swallowing the ABC Radio whale and still is a stakeholder in media.

The 93-year Oracle of Omaha is nimble enough to shift strategies and adjust his investments to maximize results for his stakeholders.

The Buffett takeaways?

— When performance is not up to expectations, adjust the plan.

— Age can be an asset when experience counts.

— When you are in hole, stop digging.

How many traditional packages and sales promotions have you counted on as sure-fire sellers that unexpectedly failed? What does your fallback plan look like?

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: