How brave are you? Do you ever turn business away? Would you say no to a potential new customer even if you really need the revenue? Imagine working so hard on your marketing content and business development activities that you ended up saying no to a potential new customer that knocked on your door wanting to pay you for your products or services! Sounds crazy? That is exactly what happened to Collingwood around 8 years ago. Our marketing strategy was amazingly successful and kept us busy for over 8 years. The phones kept ringing to the extent that we never had to go looking for a new customer. How good is that!!
As we matured we realised that not all business is good business. We realised that we were a team that enjoyed working with certain types of companies. They were companies with a strong purpose, they were ethical and we were excited about finding them key talent that would enable their strategies to be executed. They valued us as a partner and enjoyed collaborating to find a solution together.
Unfortunately though, the inbound enquiries were introducing us to a lot of companies who were only calling us through desperation. They had a critical vacancy that was causing them a lot of pain but they just couldn't find the candidate they needed. They had tried everything before contacting Collingwood. They had advertised themselves, they had used contingency database recruiters, they had tried to gain referrals from their networks but they had failed. They turned to Collingwood and our retained executive search services in desperation, as a last resort and fully expecting us to have a magic wand to solve their problem. Sadly they didn't want to collaborate. They weren't interested in us showing them market data that proved their candidate didn't actually exist. They weren't willing to compromise and preferred to blame all the partners they had tried rather than look at their own process.
Today thankfully, we only work with aspirational clients and are very proud to partner each one of them. The journey isn't easy and there is lots of bad news to discuss but they trust us, they trust they data we bring to the table to discuss and over 95% of them keep coming back for more!! Having clarity about what an aspirational client is gives you the confidence to say NO. Accepting a new customer only for revenue will usually end in frustration and tears...