Diary of a Loser by an All-Around Winner by Adam Cupples
Success stories are a dime a dozen – but you’ll have to go somewhere else for one of those tales, because today you’re hearing from the loser.
It’s bittersweet. Our agency went through a two month review process against 10 other agencies for a prospective client (who shall remain nameless for their protection from my many, many fans.) Proudly we made it to the final two (spoiler alert: we didn’t get the account). And then I got the dreaded phone call of rejection.
I’m not looking to be consoled. I’ll hear none of the classic “you’ll get them next time Adam” or “I’m sure you did your best” or “what were they thinking, you guys are awesomely talented” (I know that already). I know … we all know, that losing sucks and winning is fantastic (you’ve seen the video on our website I assume – wink wink) I want to give a soap box to the losing side today.
From this experience I took away the following:
1. “I will get them next time” 14 years ago I would have cried (yes, I’m sensitive!), threw things (like a toddler) and cursed out the decision-makers. I would have thought it was the end of the world career-wise. Today, as I write this I am energized. We will be #1 next time. Wow, I think I have matured – or I’m really old.
2. “We kicked ass” November marked Strategis’ 10-year anniversary and I’ve ridden the ups & downs the whole time. Looking back – some of our earlier pitches make me cringe. (Please don’t email me for examples – I’m too embarrassed. Or maybe I’m saving that for a future blog post). This time was different. I rocked – the agency rocked – I am proud of the presentations we gave for this review. And, I’ll admit, this un-client really seemed impressed by us from the first meeting to the last. End of story.
3. “This was NOT a waste of time” Neither ours nor theirs. I try to put myself in their shoes. As it would be for most clients and un-clients, this was a hard decision for them to make and these folks put in a lot of time on their end. I can walk away knowing that despite not getting the account, I have developed some great relationships with their marketing teams. I’m confident that they haven’t heard the last from us, and we haven’t heard the last from them.
4. “There’s always next time” I know we made an impact. Who knows – maybe they’ll refer us to someone because they think we’d be perfect for that company. Or maybe the review winner will royally screw up.
5. ‘The rollercoaster is a lot of fun.” Even after 10 years, the ups are still really exciting and the downs still feel like a challenge.
So there you have it and the next time I write a post like this it will be me showing off my first place blue ribbon, pictures of Gatorade being dumped on me and popping some Champagne