When Representing Your Company, It Can’t Hurt to Ask

July 31, 2013

……………….Rejection can be tough. Some of us learn after years of being cut from teams or losing school elections that it’s safer not to put yourself out there.

But work is different. You represent your company and securing the best terms with a client, a consultant or a vendor is your job. Of course it’s easier to accept rejection when you’re offering corporate products and services than when you’re selling yourself, but it takes some getting used to.

Whenever I wrestle with whether I’m being too over the top as I develop a proposal, I think of Sam, a former client of mine. We were raising money for his company and planning to meet with a potential investor. I told him the maximum amount the investor could commit, but Sam surprised me in the meeting by asking for twice that amount.

Don’t you remember we talked about the investor’s max investment?” I asked him.

“Terri,” he said, “I always dated the hottest girls in college.”

“Look at me,” he emphasized, “I was short and bald back then too. Do you know why they went out with me?”

I looked at him blankly, knowing there was no safe answer to that question.

“Because I asked” he said. “Sometimes that’s all it takes.”

Needless to say, the investor committed more than his “maximum” to my client’s company.