Friday, September 18, 2009

New Client National Convention

So my newest client asked me to attend their national conference in Orlando this past weekend. Sounds pretty sweet, right? This was the second worst event I've ever been to. The first was a National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) event in the Florida Keys.

They had this big bank of windows along the east wall of the conference hall where the meetings took place. About every five minutes or so, a big fishing boat (or pleasure boat) would sail by, and I'd hear someone in the background droning on about some insurance issue....pure hell.

This time, I was within 10 minutes of the happiest place on earth (unless you were to get stuck on whatever that ride is with the song "it's a small world" what happened to us the last time the missuz and I went. That's another kind of pure hell. I digress...

So this meeting was in this massive hotel in Orlando, and it went from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Don't get me wrong, there were some great speakers and agenda items, I'm just saying: Don't hold something like this in Florida. Hold it in Iowa or something (no offense to anyone in Iowa).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hey...who's running this show?!

Next week a client is coming in town and has asked me to set up various meetings. One of the meetings they asked me to set up was with a powerful legislator from the opposite party. I don't believe in trying to pretend I'm something that I'm not, so when the client asked me to work on setting up the meeting, I said I'd be happy to do so, but it's a difficult meeting to arrange for even those who are this legislator's friends, and I'm not one who falls in that category.

I just feel like I need to be honest and up-front with the client, even if it ultimately means they go to another firm. I'm not going to promise anything I can't deliver or pretend I'm someone with every important relationship in the Statehouse. I suppose that could be one advantage of having a larger firm, but I continue to believe there are trade-offs for big firm versus little firm.

In any event, apparently my client called someone else and got the meeting set up. I feel kind of awkward about the whole thing, but it's not that I don't have relationships on the other side of the aisle, it's just that I didn't have this one. So here they are, this out-of-state company who has relationships in our fair state and can get meetings done that I can't. Well, I think I could've eventually gotten the meeting, but I probably would've needed more lead time.

Oh, and I don't think I mentioned it previously, but I picked up another client last week. I'm not up to three clients. Woo-hoo! Sure was not fun at the beginning of the year, since there were a couple of companies who said they wanted to hire me, but then backed out once I actually made the leap on my own.

In fact, one of those companies still calls me to help them with stuff, but I believe those days of free lunches are officially over. I could probably hold a grudge at a few folks, but why bother. My business is growing and I couldn't be happier...until I pick up another client!