When we win a new consulting job there is excitement and movement. The win justifies the research, writing, thought, and collaboration work invested. That’s exciting. The hunt is over and it paid off this time.
There is also movement- a state of being our business model depends on. Without much seasonality to the sales cycle, we need a reason for things to happen. Wins mean new project assignments and elevated responsibilities that are certainly good for the victors. The vacancies left create a trickle-down effect that is generally good for everyone else.
Without the swirl and churn of a periodic win, the business feels stagnant—even as billable hours flow and profits earned.
So we go in search of more wins. Because of the limits on discretionary spending and the finite nature of most budgets, we push beyond the clients serve today to find a client we’re not yet serving. In and of itself, this pursuit isn’t wrong but in practice it is distracting.
Between wins, there is a better way to create movement. Instead of bouncing to the next RFP, we can dig in—really dig in—on the issue we were hired to solve. While fulfilling the client’s need, we can find the others working this issue (wherever they might be), start conversations, do the primary research, explore, talk to, test out, and refine the solutions.
Every win should mean fulfilling the commitment to the client AND making a contribution to the community.