Wednesday, 19 January 2011

If there’s a loser nobody wins

A former boss shared a fabulous presentation when I first became an Account Manager, called ‘20 top tips for fantastic client servicing’ it was full of really useful tips on how to be a great account handler.

Some of the tips were really obvious, some not so obvious, but it was great to have a vast amount of previous experience distilled into a four page word document.  It was something I kept on my desk and referred to for years.

I was delighted to rediscover them recently and I updated them for the account team I was managing.  They feel as appropriate today as they did 14 years ago!

One of the many that have stuck with me ever since is ‘If there’s a loser nobody wins!’  It follows.

When you have an argument or difference of opinion with someone, what are you trying to do?

  • Most of us concentrate on proving that we are right, on using logic, anecdote, example, anything we can to build an ‘unassailable case’.
  • But just as winning a battle doesn't mean you win the war, winning an argument doesn't mean you win people’s hearts and minds.
  • If you steamroller your view you will rarely win hearts and minds and will leave colleagues and clients feeling verbally bullied and bruised.
  • There is no positive outcome in this scenario as your view won’t be carried forward or those around you won’t support you when times are tough.
  • So when you are having a debate with colleagues or clients about what is the right thing to do, remember that winning the argument on the day is not enough, and ask yourself if you have really got them on side.
  • If you haven’t, keep looking at it from their point of view, not yours, until you find a way to bring both of you together.

It’s a great principle to follow when dealing with people both inside and outside the agency, clients and suppliers alike.

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