You’ve Made Me So Very Happy

February 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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You’ve made me so very happy.

You’ve experienced it right….that very first rush of sheer joy that comes with the word “yes” spoken by a prospect that you’ve been trying to win for so very long.  They’re now a client!

Yep, it was a long haul. The proposal went out and then there was the usual waiting (and guessing) game. Calls and emails back and forth and true to your stellar sales competencies you were able to stay on their radar screen. Damn right! Stayed on the grid and yes, won the business. Okay sure, there had to be a little re-negotiation and so maybe the terms of that original proposal were changed, but what the heck you’re thinking, that client is MINE and they’ve made me so very happy.

That is until that re-negotiation on terms and budget has pretty much eaten away all of the profit in the project. In fact, you are almost losing money for every hour spent on their work and the pleasure that came from the win is starting to wan now that the economics of the situation are more evident.

Sound at all familiar?  Salespeople tend to be a pretty emotional lot and just to be safe, need to follow a few guidelines BEFORE bursting with unbridled joy about winning a new client. Here ya go:

  1. Make sure that any re-negotiation is really something that you can live with financially. Don’t bend on price until you are totally certain that you can “afford” to do the program.
  2. Don’t let your emotions color your business sense. Evaluate the project carefully and then determine how / if it fits into your core competencies.  Having a client say “yes” to a project that you are not fully comfortable delivering is one that should be cause for extra caution.
  3. No matter how willing you are to simply give in to win the project, a successful negotiation calls for flexibility and concessions from both parties. When it’s a one-sided negotiation, the project is pretty much doomed from the beginning.

So be careful and make sure that the happiness you’re experiencing doesn’t cost you time and money in the long-run. Take your time, evaluate carefully and you’ll wind up with a more mutually advantageous project.

Help Me, I Think I’m Falling In Love Again

January 16, 2012 at 11:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Oh Joni, I don’t know what it is. Could be that I’ve been working so hard to win new business or maybe I’m just plain easy and want to love those new prospects that come my way, but really, shouldn’t I have learned my lesson by NOW, 24 years after launching this business.

Are you like me? Do you fall in love with clients so quickly that it makes you blind to signals screaming out watch it, this client just might not turn out the way you want!

Do you believe so strongly in yourself that you just “know” that you can make it good, make it better and well, make it right?

I know that I’ve fallen into that love-trap more times than I really wish to admit but well, maybe I’ve gotten more cynical, less needy or just plain smarter and recognize all of the red flags BEFORE I get into trouble.

For instance:

  • The project is so far out of your sweet spot that you’re going to lose money, time, sleep and credibility for every minute that you’re working on it.
  • The client is asking you to do things that just don’t feel right  (defer billing, overlook something that seems legally binding, talks poorly about your competitors). You know what I mean, right?
  • The decision-makers at the client change so frequently that you can’t even keep track of them and you’re losing time and money in meeting after meeting where you meet the “new” client team.
  • The “direction” of the project changes multiple times while you’re still in proposal stage.

It’s nice to be in love with clients but a good dose of reality should keep the stars out of your eyes.

And when all else fails, a good pre-nup can help you to avoid a financially devastating and business crushing divorce.

The

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