I was speaking with a friend recently who shared a story about his company who had submitted a tender for a RFP (Request For Proposal)...with disastrous results! They lost a $100,000 contract because of one telephone conversation. Let me explain so you don't make the same mistake.

The submitted tender included three references – three companies that they had been working with for years.

One of the companies included in the reference had previously mentioned to my friend's company that they were experiencing long on-hold times waiting for the service department. And unfortunately, they didn't fully address the situation. Everything else regarding their service department was excellent.

But when they were contacted to give a reference, this company representative said my friend's company provided amazing service but being on hold for more than 30 minutes every time they needed service was beyond frustrating.

That one statement lost my friend's company the contract and it was all because they did not put enough focus on the problem from their customer's perspective. This problem was immediately rectified (as it should have been done from the outset).

So the moral of the story is please check with your references to ensure they are happy with your company before you suggest others speak with them. But I suggest you take it further...speak with your customers on a regular basis so they know you value their business by keeping them happy at all times.

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Susan Regier, owner of Vantage One Writing, is an in-demand copywriter, marketing strategist, and business breakthrough specialist to serious entrepreneurs who want to have a profitable business they are passionate about. She has the uncanny ability to find the hidden gems in a business that can ignite sales and profits for her clients. Claim your free guide: 15 Tips to Increase Your Influence, Attract More Clients & Make More Money at SusanRegier.com.