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This past weekend I witnessed an awesome phenomenon.  It has a great lesson for all of us.

I was at a high school robotics competition in which a top ranked team captain had to pick a partner for the competition from the bottom 20 ranked teams.  To do so, he slowly walked past a row of 20 team captains, and eventually stopped at the team that was clearly ranked one of the absolute worst.

The captain of that poorly ranked team was the only one proactively showing off his robot’s capabilities, enthusiastically clamoring for attention. In contrast, the rest of the captains just displayed their robots, hoping to be picked.

Much to everyone’s surprise—especially the very poorly ranked team—that team was picked as the top ranked team’s partner.

As I watched this unfold, I was amused by the thought that most of us make choices like these all the time: we are regularly distracted and mesmerized by whatever gets our attention—shiny objects, if you will.

In an industry packed with lenders, loan origination systems, quality assurance companies, CRMs, AMCs and technology companies, business executives often have dozens of great choices from which to choose.  How do they narrow their choices?  They pick based on what has attracted their attention—not necessarily based on which company is the best.  After all, it’s hard to know what the best lender, technology or service provider is.

At my agency, our job is to make sure that our clients stand out from the crowd. We ensure that they regularly appear in the press, get speaking engagements, win awards, benefit from proactive marketing and, if they want, advertising, too. Those companies are figuratively jumping up and down saying, “Pick me!  Pick me!  Pick me!”  And it works.

This phenomenon doesn’t just help grow sales. It also works when executives want to sell their company. By standing out, companies get the attention of other companies seeking to make acquisitions.

Trust me, I know it works.  Our clients are acquired at an above-average rate. And once the sale is complete, they routinely attribute their successful sale and strong sales price to great publicity and marketing.

When you are pondering how your company can improve sales, it’s wise to consider whether your company is clamoring for more attention than your competitors.  If you’re not, it’s time to reconsider your strategy.

If you’d like to get my advice on how to become the company others can’t overlook, just email me at  I would be happy to be of assistance.


By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage