Remembering What We Are Good At

I started my career in Telecom almost 25 years ago doing Proposals for then Telecom Giant Nortel Networks. I remember someone I consider one of my mentors telling me: “Leticia, doing proposals is like taking a medicine that doesn’t taste good, you hate it, but it will eventually make you feel good”. Back in the late ’90’s the proposals that Nortel was bidding on, were ‘Greenfield” (new) Wireless Networks, hence I was working on $200 Million proposals. Talk about stressful days! I did that for several years, the medicine tasted bad, but the knowledge I gained was unparalleled.

I then went on to do pure sales for over a decade. Social being that I am, I did well in it, but there are many things about the sales process that I don’t like.

My natural professional evolution has brought me to be more involved with the strategic vision of the business. I’m 10,000 feet above the nitty-gritty of daily operations, and I don’t hide it, I like it up here but I don’t allow myself to forget that the growth of the business is greatly linked to two of my previous roles, pricing, and sales.

Not long ago,  I was told that we had ‘lost” a deal. It seemed strange to me because it was for one of our oldest customers, one we have a great relationship with. I decided to personally call the customer and this was the outcome:

  • While the account manager was referring to it as a lost deal, in reality, it was a matter of the customer not having full budget approval during this fiscal year.

It is not lost, it is simply not happening, yet.

  • In my lively conversation with the customer, he shared with me current challenges and future goals, so we were able to make a road map on how to get him where he needs to go.

True sales can’t be done via email, pick up the phone and call your customers (and when is safe again, meet them face to face!)

  • While as a company we do have a set of commercial and payment terms that are standard, we have always excelled at looking for creative solutions if possible.

We have always done it this way’ is never a good answer.

I then proceeded to work personally on the revised proposal, took the time to go into every single number, and followed the whole thing until we had the Purchase order in hand. I was revitalized! In the beginning, it was like, I’ve been there done that, I don’t enjoy doing this, but then, as I put all my energy into making it happen, I taped into a “cozy” familiar feeling. Create space for all your talents and strengths to be part of your life and great things will happen.

Remembering what we are good at is a great way to reconnect with the true essence of you.

What is one of your strengths that you’ve forgotten about or don’t use as often anymore? Get reacquainted with it, and pay attention to your feelings as you are at it. Have fun!


Leticia Latino
Leticia Latino
With over 20 years of experience in the Telecom Industry Leticia Latino went from working for Merrill Lynch and Telecom Giant Nortel Networks to accepting the challenge of extending the legacy of establishing her family business in the US back in 2002. Neptuno Group was originally founded by her father in 1972 in South America where they helped deploy some of the first Cellular Networks in the region and where they have built over 10,000 Towers. Leticia is a recipient of the Women in IoT award by Connected Magazine, Revolutionary CEOs by Aspioneer, and one of the 30 most influential Leaders in Tech by Insight Success. She currently serves as a full member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Development Advisory Committee (BDAC) and as the Chair of the Job Skills and Training Working Group. ​In addition, Leticia is a published author and a contributor in a broad variety of blogs, and her book “Women in Business Leading the Way” became an Amazon #1 Best Seller. She’s also a public speaker, mentor to young women, and a big advocate of nurturing “Human Connections” through her Back2Basics Podcast.

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  1. Hi Leticia,

    I love your posts in general and this one is no difference.
    Your positive attitude and verifications made you successful. I loved reading this “It is not lost, it is simply not happening, yet”. By asking you found that the door for the deal was not closed; It still had a crack opening.

    You worked on the deal and used “consultative selling” to help your client build a formidable strategy. No wonder that you won the deal and many more.

    Your attitude is amazingly positive.