When Losing Is Winning

A couple of days ago I got an message from a perspective client in the food industry whose need was data-protection consulting services : he didn’t feel like accepting my proposal, so he kindly turned it down.

I should have been saddened by this lost opportunity but I was actually not.

Before sending the quote for my services, I met the client in his plant, talked extensively about his company’s situation and needs. We had different opinions about what were the issues to fix and what the related time and costs would have been.

Yes, I could have had the costs fall as he asked, and the services “reshaped” according to the customer perception of his condition. But I did not.

A fair consultancy work can be done only with a full agreement with the client and a clear mutual understanding of goals and methods. If it isn’t so, then is better not to take the assignment because the client will finally be unsatisfied and the consultant’s professional reputation is hampered by what is perceived as as a cheap and poor quality job.

At the end of the day, then, we both won: no time has been wasted, money has been saved, and a business relationship has been preserved.