I heard a saying the other day that I found very interesting. It goes like this – “the only thing second to a quick yes is a quick no”. This struck me because I had recently seen an article in the WSJ about the notion of “never give up”.

This is a very prevalent standard on our culture and supported by a multitude of tales and historical experience. But what if…”never giving up” was actually a bad business decision? Let’s explore this a bit more.

It seems like heresy to say that our goal is to lose fast and on a standalone basis I agree. But when one considers the opportunity cost some revelations can occur. In essence, there are four components of opportunity management that influence where we spend our time.


  • Increasing the # of opportunities
  • Increasing the $ value of opportunities
  • Increasing the % win ratio
  • Decreasing the length of the processing cycle

While all four areas are important the one that has the most impact is WIN Ratio. If you are decreasing the length of the cycle, you are able to focus on more opportunities and, therefore, increasing your probability of success. Seems simple yes? Actually many find saying “this is not going to work so let’s shut it down” difficult to do. Efficiency is one thing, but can you recognize when it is time to abandon the cause?

If this seems familiar, don’t worry as you are not alone. We, as Americans in the greatest country in the world, are taught to be like a dog with a bone; you’re committed, tenacious, stubborn, determined, single-minded. You just won’t let go! It looks and feels good to show “activity”. Stop kidding yourself. If you have a grip on a loser, let it go! This excess “weight” is just taking time away from winning.

Our peril is that it can take longer to lose than it does to win and we have squandered a precious resource – Time.

We appreciate your interest in McHenry Consulting. If you would like to discuss your strategic approach to managing opportunities, we are ready to engage!