Sometimes you’re the bug…

Yesterday was not a good day.  Well, it started out pretty smoothly… got confirmations on a some new orders, had a few sales calls lined up and my Phillies were scheduled to be on the MLB network so I had a perfect night lined up.  Then, IT happened:  I lost a client.  And not just any client, but rather one that we had been servicing with direct mail database development for a period of 5+ years.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the direct mail world, this amounts to a very heavy workload – with good revenue – where you are forced to forge a healthy relationship with the  client.  Things were humming along, performance of their mailings were very good (even in the throes of the recession) and with performance dipping a bit, we had a plan in place where we were trying new ideas to reverse the recent trend.  Heck, I even received unsolicited emails stating how happy the client has been with performance, the responsiveness of my staff, yada, yada, yada.

Then all hell broke loose:  They decided they needed to enlist an ad agency with whom I don’t have a relationship… giving them carte blanche to choose their own data provider.  And like that – poof! – we’re out.  Not even an opportunity to meet with the agency to cite our great work, our committment to the client, understanding of their market, 5 years of mail history in the database from which to cull valuable intel… nothing.  The quintessential ousting “without the common courtesy of a reach-around“. 

So I moped home for my favorite comfort food in these times – plate of rigatoni with meat sauce (thanks KC!) – and a bottle of red (sans glass – think Johnny Drama when he lost that part to Bob Saget).  I settled into my favorite nighttime activity – watching my Phightin’ Phils open up another can of whup-ass on some sorry foe.  And how could they not… with our ace Roy Halladay on the bump, this was as much of a sure thing as there is in life.  Except, there are no sure things in life.  While piling up a 14 strikeout gem, the Diamondbacks got to my boy Roy in the top of the ninth and gutted out a 3-2 victory while we left the tying run stranded on 2nd. 

Then it hit me:  Roy is 15-5 and arguably the best pitcher in baseball (apologies to Justin Verlander and the Cy Young year he’s having!).  If powers outside his control can cause him to lose a game (aka Charlie Manual not bringing in Bastardo to face a lefty who actually HITS Halladay), then I certainly can lose an account to no fault of my own!  Instead of kicking the water cooler, punching a wall, and losing his cool, Sir Roy simply gleaned into the Diamondback’s dugout while walking to his as if to remember the feeling of letting this one slip while in his mind saying “never f’ing again… looking forward to mowing you down in the playoffs”.  And that my friends is my mindset today; I’ve dusted myself off and am taking this valuable lesson to my other clients and the 10 prospects that I’m personally calling today to use the valuable insight I’ve culled over the past 5 years of engagement with this client and am going to turn it into 5 new clients.  So in a sense I’m grateful as I glean into the agency’s dugout and say “never f’ing again… looking forward to seeing you in the playoffs.”

For one day I was the bug… I’ve been the windshield quite often over the last 10 years.  And I’m OK with that record, just like Roy.

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