Before I begin this entry, I would like to make a special note to my brothers Kyle and Jimmy, for always being there, and putting up with me.
Well, I have my John Coltrane station working on Pandora, and I’m ready to introduce my next indicator. However before I begin, I would like to discuss the concept of indicators a little. I think it’s important to properly use these stories and concepts to benefit the development of your company. In order to achieve this goal, we need to discuss the proper methods for acting upon them.
The primary use of indicators is to know when to begin or end a business relationship. Often times, we see the signs, but we ignore them and hope that things will turn out for the best through our ability, their sense of morality, or chance itself. Truthfully, outcomes in life or business follow an almost exact equation, combining factors and circumstances to render a total that may or may not be in our favor. Although we cannot control the circumstances, we can control the factors that are used in the equation of success or failure.
In every situation, there will be an indicator to arise that should make you question whether to continue the relationship. Obvioiusly, to walk away after sighting the first indicator would mean that you should never engage in any business, which means you will never make any money. Indicators are simply a guide to understanding the challenges and risks you face in the business relationship. As Inspector Gadget used to say, “knowing is half the battle”, and it still holds true, especially in business. Every businessman believes he/she has it together, and everyone normally puts, what he or she considers to be, his or her best foot forward. However, we all have flaws and shortcomings, and the misinterpretation of them can lead to undesirable situations in the end.
As you begin to detect indicators in your clients, you should begin to detect them in your business. And as you become aware of how your indicators are obvious, you should to work on them to improve the perception you impart of your desired customers. I constantly use indicators in everyday life, and I typically engage in better relationships. It’s only when I lose sight of my goals, and chose to ignore the indicators in front of me that I experience unnecessary failures in my business and in my life.
The Vendor Killer
As you are going through your normal course of business, you receive a call from a client who has a project for you, which only needs some small adjustments before it’s ready to go. When you finally meet with the client, they have the project totally prepared, almost as if it had been worked on a few times before. You ask a few questions to understand why you are really there. After all, the progress thus far looks impressive and to the standards you would accept if you were awarded the project. And then you get it, there were two or three before you, but things didn’t work out. And there you are, face to face with the vendor killer. The only thing left of them are a few proofs and files that they forgot to take back before the departed the scene. So, now it’s your turn. What should you do? You could believe this guy and show how you are different, or you could walk away and leave the project for someone who hasn’t studied the indicators blog.
This indicator is important to study, because it is a situation that separates the pros from the amateurs. The pros never handle clean-up work, and if they do, it’s at a premium rate that exposes the insanity of the client. The amateurs always take the bait, because they have something to prove. The vendor killer attacks his/her prey in a variety of ways – lack of money, lack of commitment, lack of anything. There’s always something missing in the client’s business ethic that keeps a typically normal project from taking the standard course of action. The sick part of all of this is that most cases are unintentional – that’s just the way they do business. The other cases will be discussed in future indicator stories.
In all cases, the best option is to walk, and walk fast. The problem is never the project itself, but the client and their way of doing business. You may be able to help them with completing a project that took nearly five vendors, but at what cost? Eventually, you will become another body laid on the side of vendor row, and it will be your fault for believing you could beat the vendor killer. Don’t be another victim