Mad Men – Fighting for New Business
When trying to secure a new business lead, you’ve got to come out on all cylinders. In last Sunday night’s episode of Mad Men, the SCDP leaders went out with both guns-a-blazing to help land a new business lead from Jaguar.
Pete et al see dangers in having Lane—a finance guy and friend of the Jaguar exec— as the point person on such a big account. But they themselves head into danger when Pete, always apt to show clients a wonderful time in the city, takes them all to a brothel (sans Lane). Edwin’s wife finds outs and SCDP loses the business altogether.
While we at DGC don’t recommend such *extreme* measures to garner business, we do believe that relationship-building takes time and hard work.
Getting off on the right foot with a client is tricky– kind of like dating. You don’t want to do or say the wrong thing. You have to feel each other out, learn how the other person operates, and keep both parties happy. The desire to please can cause you to make some bad decisions you later regret.
In a professional services business, several factors can make or break a relationship. It’s a mix of chemistry; expertise; the ability, on both sides, to negotiate and resolve conflict; mutual respect, and some old-fashioned common sense (something the fellas at SCDP were sorely lacking throughout Sunday’s episode.)
And also, we recommend a post-mortem when you do lose a piece of business. Discuss what went wrong. What would you have done differently, and what will you do differently in the future to avoid a similar situation? A hard-and-fast rule: no physical fighting, no matter how much the Roger-type in the office wants to see it. There’s always a professional way to solve things. If anything, settle your differences on our ping pong table.