By Jacques Sciammas, President, Selling to Executives
In the age of convenience, where same-day deliveries have become the gold standard and news articles are now conveniently timed down to the second, our need for accurate and concise information has never been more pressing. So why on earth do we still bother with documents numbering hundreds of pages, sans picture and color? Truth be told, 99 percent of us don’t bother reading these documents at all. They make great paperweights, but if asked about specific details, most of us might offer an uneasy grin, knowing that we have companions-in-arms, equally guilty of shirking that responsibility to read altogether.
The 10-K report: Why bother?
You’re familiar with a company’s annual report, right? But very few bother with the 10-K. And for those of you who have heard of it, do you really understand its value? Unfortunately, due to its no-color, no-graphics (thereby implying “no fun”) standard format, a format mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the 10-K is easily the most overlooked, undervalued and – shockingly – untouched research document.
In my personal experience as CFO for several large corporations, where I chaired the Capital Committee (i.e., the committee responsible for overseeing purchasing decisions), I met thousands of salespeople and strategic account managers through the years, and I would say that no more than 3 percent or so had bothered going through my company’s 10-K. Now, those familiar with the 10-K may be groaning out loud and thinking, “Who is going to actually read that monstrosity?!!” And it’s true. It would be similar to “indulging” in the U.S. tax code, a document filled to the brim with dense terminology and one-dimensional creativity.
“Stop Jacques! The 10-K is tedious. I’ d never get through it, despite my and your good intentions!”
Fair enough, but let me put forth the good news [Drumroll, please!]: One doesn’t need to go through the entire document to gather the most crucial nuggets of information. While it’s true that the top executives and their legal teams are involved in the creation of the 10-K, what makes this document vital to SAMs and GAMs are the highlights (and confessions) stealthily included – and typically ignored. These highlights can assist SAMs and GAMs enterprising enough to sleuth them out to establish strong credibility and relevance with the C-level and to truly differentiate themselves from their competitors.Continue reading “THE 10-K FILING: THE MOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENT THAT SAMS NEVER READ”