A couple of decades ago, I was part of an agency team pitching a major new project to a very large technology company. In the interest of confidentiality I won’t use their actual name; I’ll just give you their initials…


Halfway through our pitch, it was clear we were pretty close to winning the business. In fact, they just had one real concern: were we agile and flexible enough to accommodate their last minute “strategic changes in direction,” (aka: the whims of their senior management team)?

Now this kind of objection is a classic buying signal. It generally means the client is truly interested. One of my colleagues recognized this fact and jumped on it immediately to try and close the deal. I could almost hear the wheels in his mind turning as he worked through two tried-and-true clichés. He later confirmed that what he intended to say was, either:

A) “We’re a company that likes to shoot from the hip…”


B) “We’re a company that likes to fly by the seat of our pants…”

What he actually said, however, was…

C) “We’re a company that likes to shoot from the seat of our pants.”

Virtually the same words, right? Entirely different meaning.

NOT a moment of perfect Clarity.

We didn't get that job.

Clarity Matters.