Imagine writing this in an email to your biggest client:
“Thank you for selecting our team to help you and your organization embark on this project. We know you have poured a substantial amount of time and money into getting this launched. Our team is putting forth our best effort to provide you with the best service possible. We just wanted to let you know, we may fail.”
Ouch! Can you imagine telling your largest client that your team might not succeed? It’s hard to imagine. In fact, in business, we often like to hone in on the potential successes we might have. For instance, “When we launch our new campaign, sales could quadruple within the first quarter!”
Everyone loves to hear the positive outlook and imagine raking in the big bucks.
The reality is, we might greatly succeed.
The reality is, we might not see any results.
The reality is, we might fail.
Of course we all want to succeed and we will do everything we can to succeed. But there is a harsh reality that we might fail. Being the CEO of a marketing agency, I am often trying to crunch numbers that represent the possible successes of a marketing campaign. When I go in to throw a sales pitch, I love to bring up all the possible gains of running a given campaign. However, I fail to tell my client that no matter how well my team has analyzed a market and no matter how many people have screened our campaign, there is still a chance of failure.
Don’t think for a minute that I am encouraging a pessimistic attitude, because I certainly am not. Instead, I have been learning to bring things back to reality. We all have lofty goals. That’s great, keep dreaming–the sky is the limit.
Just imagine sitting in your next meeting and telling your client that there is a chance for great successes and there is also a chance of failure. It’s scary to think about, but the reality is we are human. I could be wrong, but I would dare to say that most of your clients would be more thrilled with your honesty than your lofty projections. It would save a lot of heartbreak later on if by chance things didn’t go according to plan.
Reach for the sky, achieve great things and be prepared for anythings. If you happen to encounter failure, don’t get down on yourself, instead look at your experience as a way to grow and improve in the future.