How a senior executive restored $3 million to his company's bottom line and saved a key customer relationship with just 2 hours of coaching.
The senior executive was furious. He had just been told that his company's award fee had been cut from $3 million to ZERO for a recently completed project. Not only was this a financial blow to his company, it was shaming for him. Even worse, it could potentially put his job in jeopardy.
He was ready to go to his customer with "all guns blazing" to demand that his company's award fee be restored. "Not a good plan,” replied the person he confided in. "Let me refer you to an executive coach who can help you prepare for this negotiation so you’ll have the best possible chance for a successful outcome.”
That same day, I received a call from the executive. He laid out the details of his situation, which included a description of the strained relationship he had with his customer. We went to work using a process that I have used many times over the years to help clients prepare for high stakes conversations. Our coaching conversation concluded with a good strategy and some “homework” for my client. After a quick check in the following day, he was off to the airport to meet with his customer.
Our next conversation took place a day later upon his arrival back home. He enthusiastically reported a successful trip in which his award fee was restored and, just as important, so was his relationship with his customer. Not only did he keep his job but to this day, he remains one of the most respected senior executives in his company.