Insider Trading with Warren Buffett: The embarrassing truth from a non-believer

Warren Buffett

Who the heck is Jim Kilts?  

My oldest brother is friends with Jim Kilts. 

Mr. Kilts was the Chairman of the Board of Gillette before it got sold to Procter and Gamble.  It was at Gillette that Kilts developed a relationship with Warren Buffett and where they came to know each other’s strengths.   When Buffett resigned from the board of Coca Cola he recommended Kilts to take his place because “he is one of the great businessmen in America.” 

Turn the clock ahead and Gillette gets sold to P&G and Kilts is “in between jobs.”  

It was during this time that my oldest brother found himself playing golf with his friend, Kilts.  A few weeks later we were talking and my sibling commented, “I think that Kilts and Buffett are going to buy Kraft (Kraft foods).”  

When he told me this I thought, “Oh sure, my brother is just hanging out with someone who is an insider to the workings of Warren Buffett?  Oh, I am sure he is. . . .NOT.” 

You are ahead of me.  That is right.  A few months later and the Wall Street Journal announced that Buffett was sinking in BILLIONS of investment dollars into Kraft. 

Did I buy any Kraft stock?  No! 

How dumb is that? 

Michael Vance once said, “If we all got together and truly confessed our sins . . .  we would die of laughter because of the lack of originality”. 

For example there are the wise and insightful words, “A prophet is without honor in his own country.” 

Enter me, my bro, Jim Kilts and Warren Buffett.  Did I believe and give creditability to my brother’s words?  Can you say DUH?  Smooth move Kordell, you goober. 

So who do you have that is giving you insider trading that you are not acting on? 

How about your customers? Or your own family and friends? 

For every customer that complains, statistically there are over 20 who have issues with you and your products; and won’t say a thing.

For example: More and more my customers are asking me to help them with execution and making sure their organizations drive and meet their goals.  Why?   I had one customer who took me to task for not following up with them; and they let me know, very clearly, that because of my aloofness, they paid big bucks to someone else. 

I may be dumb, but not stupid.  So I heard that and now I am more prone to put myself into longer relationships.  (Note: one of these customer follow-ups a few weeks ago saw a $60 investment that resulted in $550,000 in incremental sales and profits).

Are you getting feedback from your customers?  What does it look like?  Can it be measured?  Do you have a method to get those customer insights and then to act on them? 

There are terms for listening to customers and then acting like: Creative, astute business person, entrepreneur, innovative, results oriented. 

You have all these plans in your world.  Do you have plans for customer feedback?  

After all, one of YOUR customer’s might have a relationship with Warren Buffett indirectly.

If they do, call me.

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