Thursday, March 18, 2010

Looking forward, not backward

I was reading a piece of advice in Men’s Fitness magazine. It went something like ‘get rid of those stored phone numbers of your ex-girlfriends and move on’. That’s great advice I suppose, but I couldn’t help but think of its parallel to consulting. We consultants can tend to drag around a long list of hopeful clients and projects. When they fail to materialize “on time”, as many are prone to do, of course, we keep in touch with the client to see if/when the timing may be better. However, after a while, and especially after long periods of silence, it may be time to mentally and physically remove that project from the realm of real possibilities by scratching it off your list.

“Long” in this context will be defined by various factors including how much your list is growing with new activity, what a normal sales cycle has been like for you, as well as the effects on your temperament of looking at that client name on your list and just knowing nothing is going to come of it. That can be demoralizing. However, if you’re filling the pipeline, you’re not concerned with these ex-prospects.

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