Updated: Jun 11, 2019
It’s been 9 months now since the decision was made to go self employed and try and establish TWMAD as a youth service provider that works with many young people with the aim being to inspire a generation.
In order to sustain the business, it is obviously very important to make sure the level of service remains to the high standards we had previously set, and that our commissioners and the young people feel the benefits of engaging with our services.
We have been creating more services and doing a lot of work to raise the profile of TWMAD, this has meant attending lots of meeting and networking opportunities with local partner organisations. All the necessary actions when attempting to add value on the ground and to generate more business.
Recently TWMAD were approached by a city council team who were struggling to engage effectively with youngsters in a community, their interventions and approaches were struggling and they felt that their service
“was past its sell by date and no longer fit for purpose.” “Society has changed but our youth service offering hasn’t”
They wanted to freshen things up and they asked us what we would do. In feeling like this was a great opportunity to deliver another service and help to sustain our business. I put together a proposal, containing the approach, the work, the expected outcomes and details of how I felt our work could turn things around, exit strategies, and the costs all within the budget that was discussed.
After submitting this and hearing only positive responses, things went very quiet, excuses began being made and stalling had begun.
4 months later we received final confirmation that the “no longer fit for purpose” service would be continuing with their existing offer and that they wouldn’t be working with us to deliver our proposal, despite the demand from many other partners.
“I have attached the last proposal that I saw from yourselves which looked inspiring,”
I have been working with these type of organisations for long enough, and I know that this type of thing happens every day, however the reason I’m documenting it now is because this experience highlighted some recent information I received at a Sandler Sales Training Workshop, the notes I took
stated the following:-
That potential buyers will often
Lie about their level of interest,
Steel our information (proposal)
Mislead you at the next step
Say “they need to think about it” which is a polite NO”
This is exactly what I feel has happened to us on this occasion. Given this experience and the likelihood that my information and innovative plan currently sits on the desk of the struggling department and could be used by them to improve their situation. This is frustrating and it does leave a sour taste. I felt this experience needed sharing to bring to light the situations that voluntary sector organisations can often find themselves in when offering services similar to those delivered by statutory organisations.
It brings to light that despite offering services that you feel can be extremely valuable to local authorities and local people, voluntary organisations can still be viewed as a threat.
The Sandler training workshop and this experience couldn’t have come at a better time.Its happened at the early stages of my self employed journey and I can learn from it, and avoid wasting valuable time attending meetings, and writing up proposals sharing my approaches until the time is right. The Sandler training has given me a process and I will certainly be sticking to it in the future.