Early this morning I left the cold frigid air of Detroit. Only a few hours later I was fortunate to find myself walking the shores of Miami Beach in 80 degree weather. I’m here for the new two days for business meetings.

A colleague of mine began his journey to Miami abound the same time I was checking in to the hotel at 11am this morning. Like the classic film, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, his day was a mix of layovers and delays in a number of different cities. He didn’t arrive in Miami until a few hours ago – around 10:57pm to be exact! The first thing he said when I saw him was “Never again…From now on I’m only flying direct!”

It made me think about the paths often travelled by organizations to reach their customers and prospective customers. Sometimes organizations fly direct, but more often than not they’re looking to cut costs, or looking for the cheapest way to save a few bucks.

Instead of flying direct and building referral systems, they hope referrals will just take care of themselves because they provide high quality service.

Instead of flying direct and implementing a reactivation system to bring back lost customers, customers are allowed to leave and go gently into the good night. (Even though, lost customers often hold the secrets to saving other customers….and even though you can often bring back a lost customer for less money than you can get a new one.)

Instead of taking the time to deeply learn about their ideal customers to create highly effective marketing, they’ll conduct ineffective marketing in a rush to simply get something out the door.

Activity doesn’t equal accomplishment. You can fly around all day before you get to your destination.

Whenever in doubt – whether in business or your personal life, always fly direct. You’ll always get to where you want to go quicker – if you’re looking for a shortcut, this is it! Sure, you may spend a few bucks extra on your ticket, but it will cost you less in the long run. You’ll be soaking in the sun while others are still fumbling through the clouds.

Where would you rather be?