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When I first became self-employed I was less than choosy which Clients I worked with. Indeed getting any clients at all was the biggest challenge! I had enthusiasm a great service offering, knew I could do what I claimed but that wasn’t backed up by any tangible evidence that I could deliver other than those which I had brought from my experience in the corporate world.
72954_10200416346996089_502553649_nA few years into my journey and I’m able to be a little choosier and those decisions are having an impact on the way my prospective clients run their business. Let me explain. I was recently invited to act for a prestigious local business at the high end of the market. I agreed to a weekend meeting with the MD (something I don’t usually do) who was so busy that we had to meet in a local car valeting centre whilst his car was cleaned in preparation for meeting clients later that day.
I had seen the business and knew I could help I also knew that I wanted to work with this company. However when we went deeper into previous attempts to use Social Media within the business I could see a problem. There was a partner in the business (a third-party much like myself) who was totally anti-Social Media. He also had a stranglehold over the business with the elements he controlled in the business. I was in a quandary – as much as I would work for the business he would be working against it.
Over that weekend I did much soul-searching but decided that I couldn’t work against the third-party and would not work with the company. As much as I wanted to be part of the business I knew it was the right decision.
I decided to write to the MD outlining my reasons for not working with the business. That I thought was more powerful than an email or brief telephone call. I was happy I had made a correct and professional decision.
Mark Northall 1 smallTwo days later I received a call from the MD who was disappointed but understood where I was coming from and respected the fact that I had taken the trouble to write to him with my reasoning. He did however ask me to train some of his staff and to call in at the business for another meeting.
I went to the meeting with a totally open mind and it transpired that the third party had been disengaged in quite an acrimonious way. The MD added it had taken my letter to see what the third party was doing to his business.
I am now engaged by the company as in-house Social Media Consultant. I am happy to be part of his team.
Just goes to show that by standing your ground and giving clear guidelines that routes can be cleared and new relationships forged. Find out if we are a good match by contacting me – I’ll meet you for a coffee a sandwich and even in a car wash!

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