Finally! Lesson Learned!Jan 31, 2014 by Todd Reimer
Some lessons take me longer than others to learn. How many times have I agreed to do work for people, when it's really not in either of our best interest for us to work together? Too many! Sometimes it's just a matter of my not being the best person to help them in the areas where they need the most help. Other times it can be a differing perspective on ethical issues, or it can just be a gut level sense that this won't be the best relationship I can enter into. When I am engaged by a company to help with employee engagement and leadership growth, they get everything I've got! I am there to work with the leadership to help them grow in their ability to lead effectively, and to help the employees see their job as more than a paycheck and their roles as more than a job description on a piece of paper!
For me to be effective, and for any of us to effectively serve our clients, we need to hold some similar basic values in common with our clients. Honesty, quality, hard work, respect, valuing people are some of the values I have found to be non-negotiables for both my clients and me to share. Taking on a client because I need the money, at the expense of my values, has never worked out well. When I tell employees that they need to trust their employer and work together with them, rather than seeing themselves as antagonists..... I need to know that the employer is trustworthy! If not, it's my reputation and credibility that's on the line!
Yesterday I spent the morning with an existing client and had an initial session with a new client in the afternoon. I had so much fun! I put in a lot of work prior to the meetings and was fully engaged during the meetings, yet it was in no way draining...in fact it was invigorating!! There were challenges, the issues weren't minor and I had to work hard, but these clients were a very definite reminder that when we work with the right people, the hard work becomes a joy, it becomes invigorating rather than draining. Taking the time to vet our potential clients BEFORE saying yes to working with them is one of the most important things we can do in the marketing and sales process, and also the part that has one of the greatest impacts on our success in providing the services our clients need after we are hired.
This week I also lost a potential client because I wanted to be sure we were on the same page and had a good feel for each other before we formalized our business relationship. At first I was disappointed, but after a few hours I realized that I could never have been as effective as I expect of myself if we couldn't ask the harder questions of each other. Whew! Could have been a bit of a train wreck, but instead have the chance to work with people I am suited to work with. (And no, I'm not independantly wealthy. And yes, the money would have been very nice. So it's not that I couldn't have made great use of the money) The price I would have had to pay for the money would have been too high.
Godd luck in vetting your potential clients!