E.g., 06/28/2020
E.g., 06/28/2020

Regretted Wins and Regretted Losses

By: Mohamed Hassan (Director of Localization Solutions) - Vocalink Global

07 July 2016

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose…and sometimes you regret it either way!

Regrets frequently follow the loss of a new business opportunity. However, regrets after winning new business might seem a little strange. Unfortunately, in the language service industry, we’ve all lived to regret winning a new client or large project.

Sometimes we realize right away that the new business isn’t as great as we had expected, and other times the regret can hit us after weeks or months of work. 

Here are some ways we might live to regret new business:

  • Winning a large contract or multilingual localization project while not having the right human resources, domain expertise, capacity, technology, or financial settings.
  • Wining a long-term contract which contains specific restrictive terms and conditions that may negatively affect your business in the future.
  • Not setting up your localization project properly, not asking the right questions, not setting client’s expectations, not agreeing on quality standards, and not defining the right scope causing short- and long-term problems.
  • During the proposal phase, underestimating or misunderstanding the scope or required efforts and costs, as well as not offering the right solutions/services in your proposal.

When an LSP has one or two clients that represent the vast majority of its revenues, it often feels like it must fulfill these clients’ requirements, even if it disagrees with the requirements, or these requirements may not be aligned with the LSP’s service delivery plans. The LSP may be asked to provide languages and/or services or even quality levels that are not part of its scope. Every LSP (really, every company) has their own vision for the future and passion about their profession. LSPs may find that some new business that they were very keen to win are pulling them away from their vision and/or stifling their passion.

When LSPs find out they didn’t win an exciting piece of new business, it’s important not to let regret stop them from analyzing what they might have done different to achieve a different outcome in the future. Here are some ways to help avoid regretted losses.

LSPs should ask themselves..

  • "Were we too conservative? Unwilling to take the right amount risk? Not ambitious enough?” Finding the right balance of risk and reward can help avoid the regretted loss of a big opportunity that could have helped the company take a big step toward the future.
  • “Did we ask the right questions during the proposal process?” When the project scope is not well defined, it’s important to ask the right questions to get at the heart of the client’s needs.  Asking the right questions can help avoid the regretted loss of proposing a solution that doesn’t fit for a specific client or project.
  • “Were there new technologies, systems, and/or services might have helped us win the business?  If so, why didn’t we explore them?” Sometimes management or employees are afraid or reluctant to learn new technologies/systems/services, leading to a regretted loss.
  • “Are we keeping up with changes in industry trends, flexible enough to cope with global requirements, and focusing on planning for the future?” Making sure to stay current will help avoid some potentially major regretted losses – like losing market share or even an entire business.

Regret can be painful especially when results from wrong business decisions. Avoidance is possible by evaluating all opportunities thoroughly against capabilities and plans, then deciding whether to pursue the project; sign a contract or not; chase an opportunity or not.

It is advisable to:

  1. Check whether the project or client are aligned with your current and future plans, as well as your vision and passion.
  2. Realistically evaluae whether you have the capacity to successfully complete the project (human resources, financials, technology, skill set).
  3. Always be open to learn, share knowledge, and take justified risk. The globalization business is powerfully dynamic and requires extreme agility. 

There are many moving pieces to manage during any sales cycle, but heeding the guideposts listed above will help your team avoid some of the regretted losses, and also the regretted wins.


Trusted by organizations to create international language solutions for over 18 years, Mohamed Hassan has worked with top tier brands across the world. His expertise in the field has helped hundreds of clients globalize and localize their products, services and brands for different cultures, creating the ultimate native experience.