Last month, I met with a prospect where I felt we made a good connection and had a strong shot at earning their business. They interviewed several other agencies. Another firm was selected. (They choose a great independently owned firm in St. Louis, and I know they will receive strong public relations results.) I was disappointed in not being selected, but I also know I gave it my best shot. The question that kept running through my mind for several days is what did I do in not being selected?

Ed, being the sales maven that he is, told me to give my contact a call and ask for feedback on why AMM Communications didn’t receive the business. A week later, the contact and I had a scheduled call.

He was gracious and open to sharing the selection process. My presentation and ideas were what they were looking for but there was one element missing from our firm from their perspective. In reality, our firm does have the item they were looking for, I just failed to communicate it. The feedback provided was so invaluable that moving forward I need to make sure that Ed and I include this item in all future presentations.

There is a former well-known CEO and now University President who used to tell us, his employees at GenAmerica Financial, “Feedback is good no matter how bad it stings.” Those words are so true! His name is Kevin Eichner. Here is a link to learn more about Kevin.

Now that I’m fast approaching my two-year anniversary as a business owner, I find that the best learning I have had is feedback from clients, peers and prospects. It’s the best way to grow professionally and personally, and incorporate it into your behaviors.

Ways that I’m learning to solicit feedback:
  • Ask clients periodically — “How am I doing? What is working? What isn’t working?”
  • If you don’t get the business from a prospect, ask why — I was so surprised and in other ways energized by what I’ve learned.
  • Ask peers how they like your work — Ask for specific things that they like and areas to improve.
Challenge yourself to have a daily or weekly performance review. Having an annual performance review doesn’t really allow you to capture immediate ways to enhance or improve your skills and behaviors.

We didn’t land the account. I was disappointed but know they will be well served by the group they selected. Instead, I had a great learning opportunity and learned ways where I can be more successful in closing business in the future.

Best regards,


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Founded in 2008, St. Louis-based AMM Communications LLC is an integrated public relations and marketing firm that provides public relations, marketing, crisis communication, social media and sales management training for small- and mid-cap financial institutions, professional service firms and manufacturing companies. For more information, please navigate to or call 314.485.4390.

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