Everyone is not my customer. While I know that intellectually, sometimes it is hard to embrace that fact emotionally, especially in a tough economy. But the truth is, if I want to use my time well and do the right thing for my clients, sometimes the best thing to do is to turn the project over to a competitor.
This quote is from a post by Seth Godin on this topic. He argued that passing a project to someone else better prepared to handle it will actually raise your image with that client. He said:
This is when you earn the right to be seen as a trusted advisor, not a self-interested shill. Two months or two years from now, when you interact with that person or organization again, he’ll remember that you were the one who spoke up on behalf of the competition, the one who helped us find a better fit, the clearly disinterested advisor who helped us choose between the two remaining good choices.
I know he is right. So to help me make good recommendations I spend time getting to know my competitors. I know areas in which each one excels, so I can pick the best candidate for my client.
Roundpeg, an Indianapolis marketing firm, is going to be around for a long time. If we miss one sale, in doing so, we’ll establish our position as trusted advisors and it will be worth it in the long run.