Seven Touches

Office Space Planning?I was going to write about this large office furniture services contract we just won, but the truth is that we have no idea how large of a contract it will be. But I do know how large of an effort we put into winning our portion. Someone, someplace told me that it takes about seven touches to secure a purchase order. And when you start with a new relationship, you cannot see someone everyday for 7 days and make a friendship. Perhaps in the movies you can. But you cannot rush a relationship.

So when the “new guy” in charge of procuring office furnishings took on his position, we made certain that there was some “touch” every 3 or so weeks. If I do the math correctly, 7 touches every 3 weeks and it’s 21 weeks later; with some rescheduling thrown in and it’s 6 months later.

Starting with a cup of coffee, we progresseed to a glass of wine and then dinner and we now laughing to “congratulations.” We received the “word” last week. But what was totally awesome was the effort by my teammates in getting us this far. Dilligent. Resourceful. A plane ride in the middle of the night to make a surprise dinner on the east coast. Everything you would want from your team; all of the extra effort. And yes, I can confirm some tears along the way.

As I am constantly reminding my team, we control two things. Effort and Attitude. We have little to no control over the purchase order making its way to us. But we do control our effort and attitude in the process. And is there anything better when that effort and attitude are recognized by the economic buyer we are are pursuing? Not so much.

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