Last week we won a piece of business that was important to our company. I have been selling hotels for many years and been involved in many presentations and sales pitches. Some we win and some we don’t. That is just business. The thing I have found out though about myself, is that the most important aspect for me, is if we did our best. I find that if we do our best and still lose the account, it is ok. If we lose the business and didn’t do our best in the process, that is when I get very critical of myself for not trying as hard as I can.
Recently we were not chosen on two smaller engagements that would have been good to have but not that important to the overall business plan. In both cases I did not go personally to meet with the sellers. The books we put together were great, the research was sound and the delivery was solid but, I failed at the most important aspect. The personal connection. I find that people hire who they like and trust and it is impossible to gauge either of those aspects through a phone call, email or an on-line presentation.
So, when the opportunity came around for the business we won last week, I decided that we would go all out and even above what the client had ask for. We prepared data and presentations that were unlike anything we had ever done before. The result was, through this level of detail, we were prepared better than our competition when we did the presentation face to face. There was not a question the client ask that we did not have an answer for. We literally did all the work as though we had already been hired. The preparedness was recognized by the clients and we got the call telling us we won the business.
I guess the point is that it doesn’t matter how long you have been doing your job or how accomplished you might be. There are still basic things you must do if your goal is to do the best you can. Not be the best because no one can control that, but do the best you can because that is entirely in your control. When we left the meeting, we felt good about how things had gone but what I was most proud of, is that I knew in my heart we had done the best we could. That is really all anyone can strive for. I knew that even if we did not get the account, it would still be ok because we learned a lot in the process and pushed ourselves to be better than we were the week before. KT