The danger of overselling ( 2 of 2)

Last post we left the story with the question: ” How could a senior partner who is highly skilled & experienced in the art of relationships & business development get it so wrong in what one would think is a simple and straightforward pitch?”

Unfortunately, the answer is amazingly simple. Don lost sight of the relationship and was focused on the fees. The prospective client wanted a specific project done – A. Don not only presented and impressed the client that he and his team can do A and do it very well, he went on to “sell” the client B, then C, D, E and F. That was his mistake. Don, under pressure to generate more fees simply oversold what the firm could do for the client. It was clear to the client, obviously not Don, that  the relationship with him and his organisation was not the focus of the meeting but rather he was being groomed as a “cash cow” of sorts. Understandably the client was unimpressed and things went downhill quick from there.

Clients aren’t stupid. The CFO in this example saw right through the facade and he didn’t like it one little bit.

What could Don have done differently? With the benefit of hindsight – Don should have focused on doing A and impressing the socks off the client and invest in the relationship. After respect and trust has started to develop Don could have easily mentioned about service offering B and maybe even C. I dare say the reception from the CFO would have been different after he saw that Don and his team were in it for the long haul and wanted to start and build a relationship and add “goodness” to their client 🙂

Until next time.

All my best,

James