Recently, we witnessed an athlete accomplish what very few have achieved and the last had not been accomplished in 37 years! American Pharoah won all three of the Triple Crown horse races, putting him in the company of only twelve (12) Triple Crown winners. Each of the three races is an accomplishment in itself; however winning all three in five weeks is truly amazing.
Being familiar with this business, let me share some insight as to the behind-the-scenes support system for this athlete. The company of people that makes it all possible is the trainer and his organization: assistant trainers, jockeys, work out riders, veterinarians, blacksmiths and stable hands. They all support the training, development and racing career of the thoroughbred athlete.
While the majority of horses will never run in a major stakes race (Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Breeders Cup) it takes the trainer’s whole organization to work and develop each horse and create a good experience for each owner (customer) that makes the system work. The trainer’s organization never knows which horse could be the next American Pharoah, so each horse and owner will enjoy the same experience.
Top trainers create a wonderful experience for their customers (owners) by providing them access to the horses, weekly updates as to the progress of the horse with videos, conference calls, when the horse will race next and access to all of the racing events — which is the really fun part.
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However, for the relationship to continue, the trainers know they have to deliver results for the owners to stay with them. Because of the experience and the results from the experience, owners typically stay with trainers for many years, bringing the trainers new horses to train and race.
Carrying the analogy to IMOs
Just as trainers provide great experiences for their customers (owners), you as an independent marketing organization have to provide great experiences for your customers. The industry’s top producers — Forum 400 producers, MDRT Top of the Table producers, etc. — do huge production (let’s call them the triple crown winners). And their demands may require that you fight for each piece of business they do with you.
If your organization is not really positioned for this type of producer, then you are frustrating the producer, your staff and yourself. Instead of chasing business from any and all producers you come across, take a more strategic approach and ask yourself, what type of producer can we best support? What are your skill sets, processes and abilities that make your organization unique in supporting that profile producer?
The answers to those questions will determine the profile of the producer you should look for. If you don’t have the platform that bests supports Top of The Table producers, then be honest with yourself and don’t try to compete for them. You will not be successful — and you will frustrate your staff.
The key to being able to attract your profile producer is to offer (1) an “experience” the producer can’t get anywhere else and; (2) deliver “results” the producer is looking for. Only by clearly defining your profile producer can you establish the experience you want to provide.
While you as the founder / principal may have started your business and had the skill sets to be able to attract most producers and deliver results, your business today is based on the skill sets of your front-line recruiters, staff, processes and procedures. It is this infrastructure you have built that is now the culture of your business and what creates the experience of those producers that do business with you.
One things that top trainers do very well is look for owners who provide the type of experience the trainer has to offer. This includes their style of training, how the trainer does business, communication, updates, access to the horse, the race day experience and the trainers philosophy for horses after their racing careers.