Do You Always Win a Gold Medal?
As I watch the Olympic Games, I am struck by the combination of the exhilaration of winning and the devastation of losing.
Some of the athletes have their perfect event, heat, game on their specific time and date of the competition and some do not have such a ‘perfect’ outcome. There are over 2900 athletes competing from 92 countries!!
Unlike the athletes of the Olympics, who have to be in perfect form at a specific time on one particular day, we as business development ‘competitors’ have many opportunities to demonstrate to our clients our acumen, business strategies and understanding of
our own industries as well as our clients’ business dynamics.
How do you stack up as a competitor? How do you handle wins and losses? It is an unwritten rule (well, written in stone to those of us who have been at this a while) that you can NEVER, never, ever whine to a client or prospect when you lose a contract or project...it
is tempting to complain when you think you have given it your all and provided the client with a good solution and competitive pricing.
It is OK however and necessary to inquire to the decision maker, what you could have done better; what other options you need to consider next time; how you and your company can perform better moving forward!
It is equally crucial to analyze your wins -so you can replicate those strategies and ‘performances’. We can learn valuable lessons from our losses
and wins. So as our careers evolve each and every year (not just every 4 years), we can continue to sharpen our skills and become more effective with each and every opportunity.
79. Know where to draw the line with your challenging clients.
If our firm or enterprise is relatively healthy and prospering, we will be able from time to time to take a radical
step that most of us relish: If a client has crossed the line from "difficult and demanding" to "too difficult and too demanding," we can decide to cease rendering services for that client.
The sun will rise the next day, and the stars will not fall from the sky because of this reasoned decision. In fact, there might be those who actually admire such an action, and our drawing a line in the sand will reinforce our dealings with other borderline
However, at all times we need to be careful to correctly characterize our clients' conduct. It is human nature for people to become frustrated by circumstances on occasion.
We need to be aware of all of the facts and stay in constant communication with our clients to find out what is happening with them. We tend to forget that they are beset with as many challenges and obstacles in their daily governance as we are.
At a difficult time, valued clients need to know you are there for them. Such loyalty and special attention might earn you their prolonged business and deep respect. I have known a number of talented clients who required the best of my services because they
had numbers to meet and pressures to face. I never regret having provided the greatest degree of service that I could muster. They rewarded my efforts with their business patronage and their respect and friendship.