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Last Update: Sunday April 11, 2021

Key Idea: Do Job Loss Autopsies

When Renegade goes after a piece of work and doesn't get it, the sales person interviews the prospect who told him no.

Key Question:


Take time to figure out why you did not get a piece of business.

This is the only way to learn how to improve. It's been said that success builds confidence and failure teaches. If we don't study our failures we may end up making the same mistakes so often that our business fails. Ashley is brave enough to explore the reasons behind a rejection. Getting the facts helps her strategize for the next pitch. She quizzes her sales person and when she can, she'll ask to interview the person who chose another company.

Think about it

What do you think you could learn if you asked potential clients why they chose a competitor?  How can you convince the person who did not choose you to tell you why they chose your competitor?  Do you build up goodwill with your prospects during the sales process?

Clip from: Renegade Animation - Beating the Big Boys

Burbank, California: Back in 1992 Ashley Quinn Postlewaite and Darrell Van Citters left  Warner's studios to start their own business, Renegade Animation. They truly were renegades.  Their first challenge was to produce a 90-second spot for Nike.  They did it.  Called Aerospace Jordan,  it aired on the Super Bowl. Now, that's real talent.  And, that 's an incredible start.

This episode of the show takes us inside flights of the imagination, fantasy, and stretched metaphors. Today, among their customers you will find Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney,, Leapfrog, Toyota, Mattel, Barq's Root Beer, Campbell Soup, Dow, NIKE and more.

In their first year they did $1.4 million in sales. While the sales have held steady over the years, they have also have been able to do their work with four or less full-time employees.    

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Renegade Animation

Ashley Quinn Postlewaite, Executive Producer

111 East Broadway
Suite 208
Burbank, CA 91205

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:
Business Services; advertising, marketing, pr

Year Founded: 1999

Do Job Loss Autopsies

HATTIE: When you lose the bid do you try to do some intelligence around why you lost it?

ASHLEY: Yeah. Usually we know why--I mean, it'll be fairly clear why we lost it. `You were not the low bid and the client said we had to go with the low bid.' Now if they're telling the truth, then I go, `OK. Well, you know.' Or they'll say, `You know, we just liked the sketches the other company did better or'--and in that case, we actually feel like, `OK. Good. Then you made the right decision.' Because, you know, we're operating in a very subjective area when it comes to art and aesthetics. So at times you just have to go, `Well, you know, we're probably'--and we look at jobs sometimes saying we're not the right people for this. We do turn jobs down when we feel like they don't play to our strengths. Because we have a feeling that eventually the client would not be happy with what we were giving them. And we would rather turn it down than have a bad experience. Because they'll come back to us when they have something that is right.

HATTIE: So that's a good piece of advice.

ASHLEY: Very good. And hardly ever do people do it. People think we're nuts to turn down anything. But we're really committed to that.

HATTIE: Is Darrell the one that says no?

ASHLEY: Yeah, usually. Or I'll say no, `They don't have enough money.' I mean, `They just don't have enough money to do what they want to do. And we're not going to take a loss on this job. And we're not going to cheap it out and have them be unhappy,' because then we've lost them forever.

DARRELL: There's no point in taking a job that you're not interested in and having your work be crummy because, one, you're going to do a bad job if you're not interested in it. The client's going to know you did a bad job, so they're not coming back to you. So if you're doing it just for the money, then you should forget because you're not going to get any more work. That's a stupid way to operate.

HATTIE: OK. But I would venture to say that a large percentage of business owners say yes to as much as they can say yes to.

DARRELL: Yeah. And you know what? You make yourself crazy. And it takes a toll on your personal life. It takes a toll on your health. And I think it takes a toll on your business. I think it pays bigger dividends in the long run to take the jobs that interest you the most because why did you start the business? If you started it just to make money, you might as well be an employee because you can make money being an employee. But if you really have a passion, then that's what you should follow. You should do it because you believe in X and Y, not because you just want to make money. If we just say, `No, we're too busy,' or, `No,' you know, `it's not right,' or, `No, for that price I can't give you what you want, what you see on our reel that you like is not attainable for that price and I'd rather turn it down.' Those people almost always call again on something else.

(Excerpts from various commercials)

Cartoon Character #5: Sit, I'll tell you. First the workout, then the hairdresser.

Cartoon Character #6: ...(unintelligible) your world.

TRIX RABBIT: Can I have a taste? Cartoon Girl: Sorry, silly rabbit.

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