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My Three Biggest Mistakes

20th Mar 2014
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There are lots of experts in the marketplace, that aim to sway your opinion, by stating that they are the biggest, fastest , longest option in the marketplace. Whilst I have complete confidence in my ability to make a difference and deliver a positive outcome, I also like to take a human approach.

So, today, I thought I‘d refer back to three of the biggest mistakes, that I have made in my 25 year career of winning new clients. There are undoubtedly many more, but these are three that spring to mind:

Mistake Three:

I had an existing client called Barney xxxxx. I was ringing to agree a meeting time for one of our regular sessions. So in full earshot of the rest of the sales team, I rang and asked for Barney Rubble – he of the Flintstones cartoon. Cue hysterical laughing from my colleagues, a comment never to be forgotten and I had to put the phone down, as I was laughing too much to speak.

Mistake Two

Very early in my first job, I was chatting to a potential client on a regular basis, as quotations were amended. I rang one day and asked for Mrs Julie Jones and when I was put through to Julie, was told that Julie had changed her surname to Smith. I went into congratulatory mode and wished Julie all the best for a successful future. When I had finished, what I thought was a highly polished, off the cuff, speech, I was met with a pregnant pause. “I’ve actually got divorced. However, since I ‘m so glad to be out of that relationship, maybe I should be celebrating.” Thankfully, no long term damage.

Mistake One

I went to have a face to face meeting with a client, that I had met four or five times, so had built some good rapport with this accountant. The accountant was your stereotypical accountant; 5 feet five, small, skinny build and balding, despite the fact that he was in his early forties. As I walked into his office, I noticed a picture of a beautiful, blonde, blushing bride on his desk. “You never told me that your daughter was getting married” I started. “That’s my new wife” he stammered back to me. I decided to plough on and ignore the fact that the conversation had ever happened. Luckily for me, he did not extend my misery.

So we all make mistakes, in a career of 25 years, it would be implausible to say that I haven’t made any. Fortunately for me, in a career of over 25 years of business development, I have made far more good choices, than mistakes. However, it never does you any harm to reflect back at the mistakes you’ve made and bring yourself down to reality.


If you would like a FREE 15 minute conversation, to see if we could work together, to help you win new clients, then email me on [email protected] to arrange a conversation. I look forward to hearing from you. 


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