This week’s guest on Innovation In Compliance is Gini Dietrich, CEO and founder of Spin Sucks. Gini is a writer, blogger, speaker and all-around expert in the PR space. She recently wrote a blog post entitled, How to Spot Red Flags in New Business Relationships, which is the focus of her discussion with Tom Fox in this week’s show.
Trust Your Instincts
Tom asks Gini what inspired the blog post. She responds that she actually wrote the blog post as a reminder to herself to always look for red flags and always listen to her gut. She says that when you’re contemplating a prospective business relationship, there are a few questions you should always ask yourself. Do you see red flags? Can you get past them because there are other advantages? Should you discontinue the conversation and save yourself time, angst, money and resources in the long run? In the PR space, the most common red flag is unrealistic expectations, Gini explains.
Why? Why? Why?
Gini points out the importance of writing down red flags. For one thing, it makes them more concrete; and for another thing, you can take your questions into your meetings to remind yourself to ask certain questions if red flags arise. You should be constantly evaluating your business relationships. Ask follow up questions. Gini advocates asking why at least three times. Tom comments that the compliance industry uses that exact technique; it’s called root cause analysis.
Learn to Say No
Tom asks, “Why is the ability to say no critical for business owners and compliance professionals?” Gini responds that in business relationships if you can’t find any red flags then it’s usually going to be a good relationship. The inverse is also true: if there are red flags then the relationship is usually going to be difficult. The other reason why being willing to say no is important is that in the PR business as in compliance, you’re selling your time and you can’t scale that. So it’s critical to say no to things that will take your time away from what you should be doing. Tom mentions that part of Gini’s process is to try to disqualify every prospect. She comments that looking for reasons to disqualify a prospect, and finding them, makes it easier to say no to them. She shares tips on what red flags might look like from the employee and client perspective.