I first heard of 3M in the 1970s when I started working — which was an American company that was founded in 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.
Later, in the 1980s, 3M stood for the new education system that Malaysia introduced — membaca, menulis dan mengira. The joke then, however, was that 3M stood for Mahathir, Musa and Murad.
In 1985 — when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Prime Minister and Tun Musa Hitam the Deputy Prime Minister — Tan Sri Murad Mohd Noor was appointed the Director-General of the Ministry of Education. And it was Murad who introduced the idea of 3M into Malaysia’s education system.
Today, 3M means Mahathir, Muhyiddin and Mukhriz, the three warlords who Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak neutralised and made an example of — so that no other Umno warlord would dare look Najib in the eye and not blink first.
Anyway, why is it of all companies I remember 3M above the rest? Simple, really, because what I learned from 3M is that if you want to succeed in a sale then you must approach and sell to the MAN.
MAN is the acronym for Means, Authority and Need. In other words, (1) they must have the budget or funds to buy that product or service, (2) they must have the authority or power to make that decision to buy, and (3) they must have the need or requirement for such a product or service. Unless all three are present then you would not be able to make that sale.
So, if you want to succeed then you must tackle the MAN. And, currently, Najib appears to be that MAN — the person with the Means to face you (basically he owns the political machinery), the Authority to do what he wants to do (basically he has the power to call the shots) and the Need to do what he has to do (basically you have given him no choice but to defend himself because if he does not then you are going to kill him).