Document Detail

The strategic power of saying no.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10662005     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Susan Bishop started Bishop Partners with the aim of making it the best boutique executive-search firm in the business. Specializing in television, radio, and publishing industries, her plan was to beat out her larger, established competitors through superb execution. Great service would lead to happy clients, which would lead to more business, which would keep clients happy, which would lead to even more business. A virtuous circle, right? Wrong. Before long, she and her staff grew weary of jumping through every hoop their clients could think of--trying to find candidates for lower-level positions in remote locations at below-market rates, for instance. But what could they do? How could they afford to disappoint any customer when they didn't have that many to begin with? In this vivid first-person account, Bishop describes how she and her staff came to an answer that was highly counterintuitive: stop trying to make everyone happy. Focus instead on making the right customers happy. Raise their prices. Limit their searches to high level positions in their field of expertise. Stick to companies big enough to give them repeat business. As hard as it was to define the right clients, it was even harder to say no to the wrong clients. One member of the staff had to turn down work worth $120,000; Bishop herself had to turn down $250,000 from her largest client, Coca-Cola. But in the end, those clients came back with higher-quality work, and her company was on its way from chaotic little start-up to successful, professional enterprise. Bishop tells the classic entrepreneur's story, one with important lessons about strategy making, courage, and discipline for all businesspeople.
S Bishop
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Harvard business review     Volume:  77     ISSN:  0017-8012     ISO Abbreviation:  Harv Bus Rev     Publication Date:    1999 Nov-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-12-28     Completed Date:  1999-12-28     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9875796     Medline TA:  Harv Bus Rev     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  50-3, 56-61, 215     Citation Subset:  H    
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MeSH Terms
Consumer Satisfaction*
Decision Making, Organizational*
Organizational Objectives
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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