Thursday, March 29, 2012

Find a Silver Lining of Cloud

Betty was working as a sales manager for a high-tech Information Technology related company. It was late 1990's when "dot-com" company business was soaring. Many talented business people formed their own SOHO business. The need for Information Technology products was high. The market was large and growing. Her business expanded as the market became larger. She needed to travel seventy to eighty percent of her time for meetings with customers and meetings with supplier people.

Although it appeared there was no problem for business growth, Betty and her boss met to discuss on development of customer base, preparing for growing out of their existing customers. They listed potential customers and called them to visit for possible supply of their products.

Based on her strategy drew with her supervisor, Betty flew to the West Coast. She was East Coast based as many of her competitors were. She visited the company, which was on the top of the list, for her first time. She, being skillful and experienced in sales presentations, conducted the meeting smooth. The people whom she met were open-minded and friendly. They appreciated her for coming for the meeting. She thought the meeting went pretty well.

Betty and her potential customer held several meetings for product evaluation. They agreed to conduct an evaluation for Betty's products. It looked going well. One day, when Betty was in her office, she received a phone call from the key person from this potential customer. He told her that his company strategy changed. They were unable to conduct the evaluation. Since she could not get enough explanation, she traveled to this company for recovery of the situation. Her boss joined upon Betty's request.

Betty and her boss did not understand fully why they decided not to evaluate their products. It became clear for them that this company would not do it no matter what they tell them. Betty was disappointed. Her boss told her that she did her best. He told Betty; "Every cloud has a silver lining." He continued that it depended on the one if he could get it and use it. She decided to keep contact with the key person.

Later, Betty moved to another company as a business development manager. In her business development effort, she happened to meet the key person then working for a different company. This time he agreed to take Betty's products, and his company became the largest customer for Betty. She was happy that she did not disconnect the contact with her key person, despite that she had been so angry with him when he had rejected her products before. Betty found the silver lining of her cloud and got it.

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