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I wrote about how the macro/micro concept can drive your company to business success. Today, I reveal the hidden secret of an Indian World Wonder and how you can use it to increase sales.
‘Macro/Micro Winning’ is my series revealing how long term strategy can help you win in business.
It was hot. The streets were full of people. The busy roads had lots of vehicles as expected. But there were also cows, dogs and goats walking in between the cars and rickshaws.
I was twelve and I was fortunate enough to travel abroad to India, with my parents. As part of my trip I visited the city of Agra, and went to see the Taj Mahal.
The Tragic Love Story Behind The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by a Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. It was built at an estimated equivalent cost of $827 million, today.
The Taj Mahal was built in memory of emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj attracts tourists from all over the world. They arrive because the Taj Mahal is seen as a great symbol of love, built by a grief-stricken man who accidentally lost his wife during childbirth.
The Taj is an imposing building. The main central mausoleum stands at 73m tall. It also has four pillars around it (each known as minarets). Each of those minarets stand 40 meters tall.
The First Time I Remember Seeing The Macro/Micro Concept in Action
Whilst on a tour of the Taj Mahal, I was surprised to learn a secret about how it was built. The four minarets around the Taj were all purposely built to lean ever so slightly away from the central dome.
That way, if they toppled over for any reason, they would fall outwards so that they wouldn’t destroy the central Taj.
I thought this was very clever and so this piece of architecture always stuck in my mind.
Applying Fail-safes In Our Lives
Looking back, building the four minarets to lean outwards was probably a common version of an architectural fail-safe.
However, I wondered if we could apply fail-safes in other areas of our lives, to minimize larger risks. For example, is it possible to walk along a stair case with a slight lean so that in the event of slippage, you only fall backwards onto the stair case (and not forwards down an entire flight of stairs)?
Where else could this idea be used?
Fail-safes In Business
Many years later, I looked at the fail-safe idea and how it could be applied in business.
What if there was a way to apply the method without any failure needing to take place? It would be like a reverse fail-safe, that just produces the best results from the very start.
Examples: The Reverse Fail-safe (RFS) Makes More Sales
One education company sold a ‘free CD plus paid shipping’ offer that also gave customers an option to sign up to an online membership forum (billed monthly). The offer was changed to an RFS offer, so that all buyers of the ‘free CD plus paid shipping offer’ were automatically enrolled into a free month’s worth of membership to the online forum, then had to cancel the plan if they did not want to be billed after the free month was over. Enough value was delivered during the free month that revenue went up by 28.56%.
Next, at the end of an insurance period, one company used to have to call customers to agree to a new insurance plan and sign paperwork again, in order to re-insure their property. This friction was removed by changing every plan, using RFS, to a rolling annual contract. Revenue grew by 61.24%.
Finally, a major company used to charge monthly for access to their B2B sales software. They needed more revenue. They switched their default plan, using RFS thinking, to an annual billing plan (and made monthly billing a hidden ‘special request’ feature). They grew revenue by 46.08% literally overnight.
How can you use reverse fail-safe thinking to grow your sales?
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February 13, 2019 at 09:10PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs