Should I bark when the idea is a dog?
Dear Aunty B,
I work in marketing and often go to client meetings and they brief me on what they want me to do. Often it is a stroke of brilliance and I know instantly it will work and they will get the results they want. But on occasion I will hear a dog of an idea that I know will bomb.
The trouble is my sales people are so keen to get the job they gloss over the fact it won't work and grab the deal. They are not being dishonest but they are glass half full types and think that if there is a chance in hell it will work then they will take it.
I have just made them walk away from a brief because I put my foot down as this is a good client and I didn't want to burn them. Now my sales team are sulking because they believed we should have taken a chance on it and now they won't get their commission. But I knew it would fail! Who is right?
Explain to your team that there is one way you grow: You must get repeat business as well as new business. You must get that client coming back over and over. Get them to understand that repeat business is beautiful business. You know the client, their expectations, that they pay and that they are likely to come back again. You would no more burn a client than your right hand. What you do need to do is sit down with them and find out why they think they could make it work. Are you missing something or are they being dishonest?
Either way that needs to be addressed. The last thing you want is a gung ho sales team selling at any cost and then sulking when pulled up on it!
Your Aunty B
Aunty B is currently on holidays sailing the South Pacific and sipping piña coladas, but she will be back soon with fresh advice for your business.
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This article first appeared on February 22nd, 2011.