When I heard the news that Amazon had chosen two cities for their headquarters instead of one after months of pursuit and millions of dollars in tax credits, I had a funny thought…
Imagine, for a second, how things could have gone for that second city if they didn’t follow some basic rules about losing professionally…
“Hello? This is the city of Fairfax, Virginia. Can we help you?”
“Oh, hi Fairfax. This is Amazon.”
“Amazon! Great to hear from you! Are you calling to tell us which city you’re going to build your new headquarters?”
“Yes! We’ve chosen just outside New York City, but…”
“New York??? What a stupid choice. They are not nearly as good as we are. You will regret your decision and we will never, ever buy anything from you again.”
“Actually, you didn’t let us finish. We’ve chosen just outside New York City, but we are also going to build a third headquarters and it was going to be in Fairfax. That is, until this phone call.”
No one likes losing and it goes without saying that losing a customer is about as much fun as assembling IKEA furniture, but losing does not need to be a permanent situation. Go out with class, professionally, and you set yourself up for a return. Maybe that first order won’t go so well. You want to be in position to be reconsidered in the event the grass really wasn’t greener after all.
Thank the client, preferably in writing, for the opportunity to have better service. Offer your assistance in making the transition a smooth one. Be as positive as you can and always take the high road when given the opportunity.
Fairfax, Virginia is sure glad they did!