I know what it must have been like to be a part of the 300-soldier company that battled at Thermopylae.
We recently embarked on a journey to pitch a new client – our training was strenuous, our travels treacherous, but we were resolute in our goal. We put in an immense amount of preparation and devised a tremendous, creative media package.
We charged in, shields blazing and spears raised. Our presentation was buttoned up, thoughtful and compelling. And, we made a strong connection with the client.
Our subsequent discussion with the client confirmed that we had done an excellent job – the client said we “hit it out of the park” and the vote should be easy. It had come down to us and one other similar-sized army.
Then came the “God-King” Xerxes and his army of more than a million soldiers.
One of the largest agencies in town skated in and secured a time to see the client. They brought their usual band of high level freaks, odd physical deformities and all. They wowed the client with their promises of “lowest cost per point” and “the strongest leverage of any agency in town.” The trail of dead clients, devastated ROIs and depressed economies behind Xerxes didn’t deter the prospect – stars in their eyes, the clients were sold on the potential gold and riches that lay in their future by becoming a drop in the empire’s bucket.
Despite our most valiant efforts in battle, we were defeated. Never fear! We will rise out of the ashes, just like the 300. We learned a lot about ourselves and our process…and what we need to be to win clients like this. Xerxes will meet his match the next time he darkens our door.
Mourned by few, the era of 3-martini lunches is long gone. But, is the era of just having lunch with coworkers, clients, or friends also