I managed to – here’s how to muck up the perfect sale …
I was approached by a fabulous company who had been checking me out on LinkedIn. We spoke, we met, we tweaked the spec. I loved them, they loved me (it was such a good fit).
All the stages – discovery, uncovering specific needs, tailoring a solution, pricing, proposal, follow up …. done.
You can never be 100% confident, but I put in a ton of effort and I would say I was about 95% – and only one other provider in the running.
Then I got the phone call ….
Janet, we loved you BUT ….. (ever had that heart-sinking moment?)
It turns out my competitor had offered them something I hadn’t.
Couldn’t believe it. I said nice things. I felt awful.
Went away and thought about it.
Gut reaction “I haven’t got that extra ‘thing’ – blast that competitor who did, it’s not fair, how come they have it? It’s not even that important. Grrrrrr”
Then sensible reaction
1. It wasn’t because I didn’t have that thing (a way of delivering elearning by the way)
2. It was because I had failed to uncover that they had a need (or rather a desire) to support their long term strategic vision for how the company would develop. That way of delivering elearning totally suppported their vision.
3. It was totally within my power to have provided it also
4. I had simply failed to uncover this need/desire myself
So actually, the fault was within me.
This is why it’s always good to reflect when you lose a deal.
It can stop you complaining about the customer, the competitors, the economy, the weather, what side you got out of bed.
All of that is irrelevent – as sales people it is up to us to do the best job we can. Ultimately I failed to support that client as well as I should. I’m sure they will be happy with their new provider. I hope so. But what if they would have been happier with me? Then I have done them a disservice by failing to sell properly.
So you know what? I wish them well and I will do the most sensible thing I can – and that is to not make the same mistake again.
Does this resonate with you?
It happens to us all, but at least I knew what had happened.
Here are my contact details if you want to chew over your sales issues: