I was on the 22nd floor of a downtown skyscraper. Headquarters of a large financial business. Sitting in the boardroom with the company’s owner waiting for the division managers to arrive.

When they did the President introduced me to the rest of the people in the room told everyone why he had brought me in to help the company.

Each manager introduced themselves politely and I was about to start mypresentation. Just then one of managers called out and said…

“Hey, do you have any experience in our industry?”

At that time I hadn’t. I’d worked with companies in over 21 industries at that point, but not pharmaceuticals.

I met eyes with the manager that had called me out and said, “No, I don’t. But that’s exactly why you need me here. Because I bring a fresh perspective to what you guys are doing.”

Clearly the status quo wasn’t working for this company.

If it was, they wouldn’t have brought me in.

My response seemed to please the manager and I went on with my presentation.

The lesson today is about being open to learning from industries other than your own.

Too many businesses stay so focused on their industry that they fail to see the ocean of opportunities surrounding them each and every day.

Techniques, strategies, and approaches that are being used successfully in other industries…and could very well be used in yours too.

Can a marketing strategy used by realtors help your consulting business? Sure. What about the furniture company’s direct mail piece that they keep mailing to you? Or that loyalty program that you just signed up for at your local bookstore…do you think there is anything you can learn from and apply in your business? There usually is.

Are the books and magazines you’re reading only about your own industry? If you’re in marketing, are you only reading marketing books? Start reading more about psychology, selling, productivity, and you’ll quickly discover new ideas and concepts that you can benefit and make money from.

This lesson should be applied to your consulting clients as well. Always be on the lookout for successful campaigns in other industries that you can bring to your clients. Most often, because no one else is doing ‘it’ other than in that one industry, by bringing it into another you see spectacular results.

Expand your horizons.