A very important client and I had a conversation last month about services my company was providing to them. The client explained how impressed they were by the work and that “we will be working together for a long, long time.” I was thrilled. Not only did I have a commitment for long term work with this client, they told me the check was already in the mail. The only problem was, it wasn’t.
This great call was followed up by a week of silence. Then two.
I called to see where the check was and to schedule the next project. Voice mail.
I emailed. No response.
Three weeks passed. I called a a few times. Nothing.
I called again at an odd hour (7am in the morning), they answered. Caught off guard, as was I,, the client hemmed and hawed. Then after dancing around for a few minutes, they explained “everything is fantastic, we are just re-evaluating things and have decided not to proceed.” The old, it’s not you, it’s me.
That was a painful moment for me. But the truth was loud and clear. The problem was me.
People say what they say, because it is socially appropriate. But they do what they do, because it is what they really feel. I lost that job, because of something I did. If my company had been so remarkable and so impactful, they would have never left. But they did. So the problem is me.
Getting to the root of the problem, is a whole different story (and isn’t easy). But the morale of the story is this: People speak the truth through their wallets, not their words.