What’s the opportunity equation?

Did you know that opportunities have an equation? It is:

Opportunity = environmental change + valuable adaption. All opportunities are created by change in your environment. If nothing changed, there wouldn’t be any opportunities. We’re very fortunate to live in the modern world, in which change is abundant, because this change creates opportunities that are freely available to everyone.

As a salesperson, the more you can identify opportunities to help your customers to adapt to change, the more they will value you. That’s a great key to sales success.

Of course, to see opportunities you must be aware of your environment. Otherwise, you’ll miss them.

There are four segments to your opportunity environment. First, your mission, which is where you look for opportunities. Second, your model, which is how you take advantage of opportunities. Third, your market, which is where you trade value with others. And finally, your domain, which is everything outside your mission, model and market that affects your opportunities.

The biggest opportunities often come from your domain environment, where something outside of your industry has changed and it is affecting your industry. For example, Kodak’s film business was wiped out because faster and faster microchips made digital photography possible. Movie theatres are facing obsolesce because 4G bandwidth allows people to stream movies on big screens in their own homes.

When things change, people and companies struggle to adapt. That provides the window of opportunity. Opportunities are a valuable adaptation to change in your environment. Opportunities help you adapt to change in way that creates value for you.

For example, when 3G bandwidth became available, Netflix used the opportunity to adapt to this change by shifting from a mail-based distribution model to a streaming based model. This was a very valuable adaptation which helped it to not only survive, but to thrive. On the other hand, Kodak failed to adapt to change and went bankrupt.