Bringing Your A-game!

April 7, 2011

This week Midori and I were rejected from a potential speaking opportunity. When I received the e-mail I forwarded it to her and told her that I was really disappointed. Her response to me was that she was disappointed too, but to be honest, we didn’t really bring our A-game.  As usual, she was right. This was a really important conference for us to present at and we really wanted to be there. However, we rushed through the speaker proposal and didn’t dedicate the time to making it the best proposal that we could have. We got lucky because we  had submitted our ideas before the deadline which gave us the opportunity to resubmit a better session once we found out that we didn’t make the first cut. The second time that we submitted, we brought our A-game. We don’t know if we are going to be speaking at this particular conference,  but we know that this time we tried harder.  This was a rare opportunity because most times if you don’t do your best work the first time, you don’t get a second chance.

From a buyer’s perspective, I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve received proposals from vendors for large opportunities where they definitely didn’t bring their A-game.  They did not put their best foot forward and it cost them the opportunity.  Now, when I look at it I  from the perspective of a vendor I realize that sometimes I do the same things that I penalize my own vendors for.

I realize that I need to look at things differently and appreciate the opportunities that are presented to me. Whether someone is giving me the opportunity to offer them a proposal directly or I am just responding to call for RFPs, if I am truly interested in the opportunity it is my responsibility to “bring it” each and every time.

If you work for a small business, global company or an association, don’t you have an obligation to your serve your market the best way possible?  There is a lot of chatter among marketing and social media professionals about managing online reputations, listening and making sure that we know what the competition is doing. We spend time and money trying to figure out what the public is saying about us. This is all great, but sometimes it’s even more important for you to be doing a little monitoring of our own behavior.

So I ask, are you bringing your A-game to every opportunity? Are you always putting your best foot forward when interacting with your clients, prospects or members?   Is it okay to be lazy some of the time?

This week’s rejection from the speaking engagement that was SO important got me thinking about how I conduct myself and how others perceive me from a business perspective. This was a good wake-up call to be my best, always. Even on days when I am feeling lazy. What can you do to make a better impression on clients, prospects and everyone that you encounter? How can you ensure that you are bringing your A-game, every time?