I was excited. Who wouldn’t be when a international bank called to give you money? A well-known bank requested me to do a training for 80 participants. What an opportunity to generate income and to add strength into my portfolio.
I did what most sales person will do, find out what they wanted and the constrains in budget that they faced. Understanding their requirements, at least I thought I understood, I got my proposal ready on the day of our first meeting.
Little did I know this meeting would turn out to be a nightmare.
I walked into the meeting room full of confident, preparing to have a great meeting and clinching the contract. But my confident was crashed after 15 minutes with the 3-person panel.
In that 15 minutes, my proposal was thrown out. The next 10 minutes, every new ideas was objected. Obviously, we were not on the same page.
I felt extremely awkward. Thousand of thoughts were flying through my mind. They must be thinking what a lousy trainer I am. Been a while since I last felt this screwed up.
To salvage the situation, I got the panel to talk about their ideal training.
Person A: I want them to learn practical applications, not so much about mindset.
Person B: I want to have an activity that teaches them everything.
Person C: With the practical applications, they will be motivated. We need them to be motivated.
From their sharing, it became obvious why the meeting crashed. We had different expectation about training terms.
Still, they were kind enough to have me prepare another proposal in the next two days.
Walking out of the meeting room, my heart sank. Actually I could have discovered all this before the meeting to avoid the embarrassment, but I didn’t do enough. There’s nothing else I can do now, instead of beating myself, I had to act. But, I couldn’t do it.
I struggled to generate a new proposal. My heart was in chaos. I didn’t like this feeling. When my heart felt this way in the past, terrible things happened.
For four hours, I struggled. Worried that this feeling might be the fear of taking up this challenge or ego, I asked myself over and over again to ensure that it wasn’t fear. Otherwise, I have to deal with this fear first. Though I trusted my heart, I couldn’t just turn down this deal just based on the heart. There are too many benefits that could be reaped from this deal.
I analysed again on their expectation, our differences and my style. Finally, at 8:40pm on the same day, I contacted the person-in-charge to officially turned down the deal.
Right after that, I felt completely lighten, relieved.
Lessons to be learned from this event.
- It’s ok to turned down deals. I’ve turned deals before but this was a struggle because of the size of the prospect. Be fair to the prospect and yourself. Sometimes, saying NO is better than saying yes.
- You’ll never know what is going to happen. After turning down this deal, three more opportunities showed up. Letting go sometimes is a good thing.
I’m still alive and kicking after the event. Just thought of putting this down to share the lessons I learned.