Work, life and things in between- Day 52 – Putting on a show!
That was a real day at the office. I was meeting Carla and her associate to go over the dry run for the presentation. Then we headed out to the client for a two (2) hour meeting. I felt no pressure or stress. None.
I should have!
My friend Carla is very knowledgeable of her industry and her field. Not only does she master her game, she has also been hugely successful at it. Her reputation is equal to none.
She is my age, bordering on tired of this pace, and way past the desire to have to prove herself to newcomers.
The client we were meeting was represented also by three women. Half our age. That, in and of itself, should not be an issue. We work with people half our age and even younger all the time. Of course we do, we are nearing retirement!
Right from the start we sensed that something was wrong. We tried to establish a rapport, they wanted the numbers. We attempted to get to know them, they wanted to see the tools. OK. I got it. There was no time. Get to the point. This client wanted bells and whistles, 3D graphics and statistics and promises that we can deliver the impossible. They wanted a good looking “package” they can wrap and deliver to their own bosses and check it off their To Do list.
They did not want a partnership, working relationships and all that jazz…stuff that us baby-boomers learned to build our business on, they just wanted the goods. “Call me when it’s done” was their mind set.
We brought what we thought was a solution. They wanted a silver bullet. Well, we always say the client is right and this is true as long as they are clients…but sometimes not having them as clients is what is right.
Sorry. Been there, done it and I was thinking I wanted to pass.
As we stood in the parking lot after the meeting and debriefed on the afternoon, I felt frustrated for Carla as she had to go on working in that environment. I, on the other hand, felt relieved that I did not.
Well, I did not at that time. Somewhere though in the back of my mind lurked the thought that, should I elect to become a Consultant in a not so distant future, I too would have to deal with my own client’s expectations and attitude.
I elected to entertain the pink tinted glasses view that I would be able to select clients and mandates. I had and still have a serious attitude when it comes to dealing with people I have no time for.
Back then, I did not want to think about it. All I knew was that Tem and I were taking off the next morning to spend the next 5 days in Maine, walking the beach and taking in all that fresh air.
Let the good times roll. To day 53.