It has happened to all of us. Some plans—even really good ones—just don’t work out. Have you ever been within an inch of signing a new client or securing a partnership and then, just like that, the opportunity vanished? What happened?
What went wrong?
It’s easy to put blame on other party, but have you ever considered that your style of doing business is getting in the way? Or maybe your communication, the way you express things, could be improved? I’ve experienced these types of fallouts before and I was left bewildered. To give you an example, I’ll tell you about the time a legendary photographer agreed to participate in an interview series.
It was a real coup to get this iconic and world recognized beauty photographer and he was a great fit for what I wanted to demonstrate to creative entrepreneurs. I was excited and prepared. I had all my questions ready the day before our interview and I did what I always do—I took care of the business side of things and sent him an interview release. Five minutes later, he backed out of participating in the call. It was all over and I was shocked. Where did I go wrong?
I forgot that not everyone is like me. When it comes to doing business, my get-down-to-business, tell-it-like-it-is attitude works for me much of the time, but it clearly doesn’t appeal to everyone.
In this situation, I now realize I was pushing the business part of our relationship too much and it hurt the friendly rapport that had developed between us.
I had neglected to adjust my communication style and approach to reflect that I was dealing with a true artist whose passion and calling is the need to create through the lens of a camera. He wanted to share his passion in an honest conversation, not in a calculated and too business like interview.
Some things will work out on the first try. Other things require you to prove yourself over time. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to build relationships. Gaining trust involves allowing others to get to know you, and vice versa. It takes time. In my case, I betrayed the photographer’s trust when I pre-planned our conversation.
Your Next Great Idea
Look honestly at why one of your awesome ideas or plans failed. Was it the way you presented it? Was it the wrong time or the wrong client? What will you do differently next time? Catering your approach is essential when networking and seeking new leads, which are crucial for the livelihood of creative entrepreneurs like us.
Retreat, rethink, and make sure next time your language and style are appropriate for the person with whom you want to connect.
Adjusting your communication and attitude with prospective clients and customers can make all the difference in getting new business. And remember—consistency, quality, honesty, and integrity will always pay off over time.
Care to share a mistake you made and what you learned from it?
At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”
Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.
One of the mistakes I made was to sell past the sell, i.e continue to tell the clients the benefits of my services after they had agreed to buy. It gives them an opportunity to reverse their decision.
On a different note, I came across a new book, “Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade” by Robert Cialdini, and I would highly recommend it (and no, I’m not getting paid to do this). It totally changed the way I think about communication.
Thank you Philippe!
As a celebrity photographer I experienced this behavior
In my field. In those days most of the celebrity shoots require sigening brutal contract and release forms that almost punish the photographer from everything involved in his free spirit as an artist and talent. I experience that more and more photographer do reject this kind of assignments even they the talent is a big time name. We see less and less
Artistic imagery in this field
As photographers are starting to producer their own art project and gain actualy more money and respect in their industry. Beate, maybe I did switch a bit your article into the other side but it is a development that happens and that needs to be addressed as well.
Stefan, you’re absolutely correct – there are two sides to this story. Thank you for sharing your perspective!