The Art of Losing a Client

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“Chaos is a ladder.” – Littlefinger, Game of Thrones

A couple weeks ago we lost a client. This was a client we had done some really good work for, felt good about, and were excited for the path forward. All signs pointed to yes.

But assumptions are a dangerous thing. And the only real constant in business, as the tired cliche goes, is change. And change happened. Change came hard. The client decided to go in a different direction for an upcoming campaign, and we were left in the dust asking ‘why?’

You can spin down that path pretty hard if you’re not careful. You can begin to question the client, yourself, your team, the past work, the proposal, the color of the socks you were wearing that day, everything. “Could I have done more?” echos pretty loudly at that exact moment.

For help, I reached out to the LinkedIn Community for advice on how to handle losing a client – and I got some really nice feedback.

Most of it centers on being grateful and practicing grace. This particular client has always been fantastic to us, and that hasn’t changed. They’re trying new things and that’s okay. Yes it hurts, sure. But you have to absorb it, learn from it, and move on. Especially if you want to play in bigger sandboxes someday.

Ben Peters from Wunderman put it well: What you can control is your response. Look for hidden opportunities.

Loss can equal gain. It is indeed a matter of POV.

Shari Campbell offered this: Reflect. Learn. Don’t over analyze!

Yep, getting stuck on the spin cycle of questioning yourself isn’t healthy. Give yourself an allotted time (an afternoon of watching ‘The Office’, for example) to mourn, then move on.

Clarito Zapanta demands: Take 100% ownership. 

Take 100% ownership. That’s the clarion call. That’s throwing down the gauntlet. Taking the Good Road, looking for ways to improve, and rolling all that into better and better work next time.

Onward. I like that.

If you haven’t watched that scene about Chaos from Game of Thrones lately, it’s next level. It’s exactly about looking for opportunity in things seemingly awry.

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Mackie Zombie Mackie See Details
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