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Sometimes You Just Need to Tip Your Cap

Early on in my career I would take losing very, very hard. I can remember working for Field Facts in the 80’s and not being awarded projects and how disappointed I would be—in fact most times I was really mad! There were times that I thought I sent a great proposal to a client and for some reason we weren’t awarded the project. Common reasons projects weren’t awarded:

  • The client decided to go in another direction
  • They felt the competition’s level of experience was better than ours
  • Perhaps they connected with the other company better than with us
  • The winning company had a better price

In essence the client said thanks but no thanks.

Life has changed for me. Perhaps it was experience, maturity or just luck that I decided to really understand and learn from coming in second, so frankly, it wouldn’t happen again.

But there are a few things that I would NEVER do when I have come in second:

  • Never bash the competition
  • Never tell clients they made a mistake by going with another company

These days I will write a note or send an email to the client, wish them luck and always follow up in a few months to see how the project is going. Clients always seem to appreciate that gesture.

Anyone who meets me for 5 seconds knows that I have a strong Boston accent. They can look at my license plate, my right wrist or come into my office and see who my favorite team has been for years. I am clearly passionate about the Boston Red Sox.

The past five days have been very challenging for me. The good news is that I got calls and emails from people I haven’t spoken to in a few months. The bad news is it was about the Red Sox who decided to do something that hadn’t been done since 1943! They lost five games in a series to the Yankees – oh by the way it was in Fenway Park. As I write this, the last game ended less than 18 hours ago and the losses still sting.

I won’t go over all of the statistics—which are very impressive if you are a Yankees fan. The NY Yankees were the better team. They did all of the little things right: They were able to kick it into another gear when they needed to, Joe Torre made the right moves when his back was against the wall… I could go on and on but I won’t.

Boston Massacre!I just hope the Boston Red Sox learn from what happened this past week—as I have done in the past—and try to salvage the 2006 season.

This morning – I tip my hat to the NY Yankees team and Fans. Congratulations! You were the better team!

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