I wonâ€™t take up much of your time today, but I have a burr under my saddle about a prospective client over the weekend. It burns my butt sometimes to realize how much time we take grooming a new client that fits our skill set and expectations only to see that client slip away for no apparent reason. I mean, itâ€™s not all that unusual I suppose, but Iâ€™m talking about one that wanted to have a video chat, and you agreed. By the time the conversation was over, you were convinced you had the deal wrapped up. He said he was going to his boss to let him know what he wanted to do and would get back to me with an offer. It was an ideal job that fit my style perfectly.
Well, this particular video chat began a little awkwardly. Sometimes they do, but I wasnâ€™t worried about it. The guy had a problem he wasnâ€™t comfortable admitting to, so he struggled to get to the point. I went about making it easier for him just to tell me straight up what he wanted and was successful using my usual technique of giving him some good vibes by asking him how long he had been doing project management and sharing some slightly embarrassing stories of projects gone wrong. It was an effort to put him at ease. It worked and soon, he was showing me his project organization including projects he had control over and projects another department had control over. The job he wanted to be done was to build a business case for why all projects should come under one enterprise-wide project management office (PMO).
I explained to him that the work he wanted me to do would be filled with turf wars and budget fights. After all, money and power are what drives most company organizations. He said he understood that and he was up to the battle. I told him I had been down that road a few times both in managing projects for clients and projects that I was responsible for as a corporate executive many years before my freelancing days. You could see his confidence rising by his reading his body motions. His head went from a down-looking pose to a looking me straight in the eye through the camera. He opened up about a strategy he wanted to employ, and we even laid some building blocks on the table as a start to working together.
The comes his next message. â€œHi Jim, We have decided to go with another candidate at this time. Thank you for your time and for considering applying.â€ That was very disappointing and unexpected. Iâ€™m not one to be affected by rejection, but the impersonal nature of the message is what set me off. Even some language that said they had a hard time choosing between two highly qualified candidates would have eased the disappointment. But, I considered that reply to be inconsiderate and disrespectful. It left me feeling that freelancers are a dime a dozen and we just rolled the dice and picked this guy. Yeah, it kind of pissed me off and I am tough to piss off.
Anyone else faced that situation? Tell me your story so I can ease myself back into my laid back attitude.