Well, you blew it. At least that’s what your boss just told you. Maybe it was a new client you thought you had in the bag, and they decided to go with another printer. Or you lost a long-time client because you fell asleep at the switch and someone else swooped in and stole them away from you.
You feel like a loser and everyone at the company knows it. (They probably don’t but that’s how you feel.)
You are standing at a crossroads, my friend.
One path is the wallowing path. Sure, get down in the muck and feel bad for yourself. Feel guilty. Worry that one of your colleagues is going to get fired because it was a huge piece of business that the company was counting on. Do you like that? No. No, you do not.
The other option is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and ask yourself, “What’s next?”
What’s next is that you do these three things to make yourself better than you were before.
Reflect. What’s needed here is a serious dose of self-awareness. What did you do or not do to cause this situation to happen in the first place? What is NOT allowed here is finger pointing and deflection. Nope. This is about YOU. Own your $hit. You messed up. You were lazy or complacent or cocky or overly aggressive or rude or you didn’t listen, or you didn’t ask the right questions, or you forgot that the whole reason you are in business is to help people, and the paycheck that you earn is a result of that and not the reason for it. If you are at a loss, ask a co-worker, or better yet find a way to ask the client or prospect yourself. You have a right to ask WHY. You may not get an answer, but it’s worth a try. And be ready to have your feelings hurt. Because what someone else might observe about your shortcomings will not feel good. But you need to hear it. And you need to figure out how to change it.
Re-Commit. Maybe it has been a while, like years or decades, since you got excited about putting ink on paper. If that is true for you, it’s time to fall in love again. Need some inspiration? Check this out, or an oldie by yours truly here. There are plenty of blogs, organizations, and people extolling the virtues of print as a relevant, viable, and vital part of any marketing campaign. It’s time for you to put on your research hat and get to work. And become part of the solution. The world needs your stories about how you have helped keep print alive.
Adapt and Evolve. If there is any aspect of your attitude that screams “I am holding on to old beliefs and I do not believe in what I am being told the future holds for me and my industry”, it is time for you to get over yourself. As Cher said to Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck, “SNAP OUT OF IT!!!” You don’t believe in social media? STOP. You don’t think you have anything to say in a blog? You DO. You don’t need to learn about Augmented Reality, email marketing or what the phrase “repurpose paper” means? WRONG.
Newsflash. It’s evolve or die time here. Stop being complacent. Stop being lazy. I can promise you that if this is how you are viewed by your boss and your colleagues, it is only a matter of time before you go the way of the buggy whip.
Don’t let that happen. Turn yesterday’s failure into tomorrow’s rousing success.
I believe in you.
Listen to Kelly’s Podcast From The Printerverse: Strategies for Sales Success with Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi
As a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to start a revolution and fight to keep print relevant. She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.