Why do some relationships last a lifetime while others go south in a fortnight?
Whatever the reason, it always hurts when a personal or professional relationship sours, especially when one is the ‘dumpee’ as opposed to the dumper.
We just experienced a truly mysterious parting of the ways after only 45 days. What made it mysterious was the total absence of warning signs. There was no heads-up, no request to move someone off the account, no complaint of too little coverage or too many reports. Nothing, nada, zilch.
Instead, we received a Friday afternoon ‘cease and desist’ e-mail from the CMO. Since I’d had a warm relationship until then with CEO, I immediately asked him what had happened. He didn’t know. The decision had been made without him. Hmmm. Now, that’s really interesting.
When we finally were able to speak with the CMO, we were told our account manager hadn’t been visible enough. Oh. OK. So, why can’t we fix that? No response. We asked: why end things after only 45 days? Both parties lose in that scenario. No response. Just a curt ‘We think it would be best for both parties to end things.’ Oh. Sure. Ok. That makes perfect sense.
Paul McCartney once wrote: ‘Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.’ He was oh so right. And, when it does, it hurts.
No argument, Rich. Very valid point. In this particular instance, however, we believe we were hired specifically so the organization could “pick our brains” and have us more fully develop the idea that had won the business in the first place. The best aligned expectations in the world couldn’t have prevented such a pre-determined ploy from happening.
In my tenure as a business development officer for large and small companies the above might have been avoided if the account manager throughly understood the client’s expectations of the account manager.
Hidden agendas often often come to the surface after an expectations discussion. Not just the scope of the project but the roles of the players.