Bob's Blog

It's All About Perception

Whether you manufacture widgets, build houses, create musical instruments or provide services, it’s always painful when you don’t get the business, and especially if it’s an outfit that you don’t rate as highly as you do yourself. We’ve all been there, and very likely, we’ll all be there again because that’s life in business.

It’s hard enough losing out on the business for the right reasons, but nearly impossible to take for the wrong reasons. Let me elaborate. The right reasons are if you’re beaten to the punch by a competitor that specialises in a certain niche that you only touch on and, let’s face it, they’re very good at what they do: fair play. The wrong reasons are when you lose out on business that you may have had a better chance of getting if you had made sure that everything in your pitch was right, and when I say everything, I mean everything.

Here’s something practical by way of an example. You may well be aware that large corporates, local governments and other organisations have a ‘Compliance Officer’. Here’s a little titbit for you. The bulk of websites that we look at when we’re looking for new business aren’t compliant, and that will include many of you that are reading this. If your company is registered with Companies House, you are obliged to display your company’s registration somewhere on your website. You are also obliged to display it on your email footer that you use as a ‘signature’. It should be on your stationery. Not there? Oops; perhaps you need to do something about that. Consider it as a freebie: you’re welcome.

Back to the Compliance Officer. If they are at all involved in the procurement process, this is the kind of thing they are trained to look at and, when you’re told that you didn’t get the business, if you’re lucky, that is, they won’t tell you it’s because you overlooked one of the basics. So, before you pitch to anyone, let alone with an organisation that looks like it may have a Compliance Officer, make sure you get the fundamentals right.

Oh, and if you think that this has nothing to do with marketing, think again; marketing is all about potential customers perceiving you in the most favourable light.