Why You Lose A Deal

Dealing with rejection is a necessary skill in sales. Even top performing sales people cannot close every deal. No one likes to be rejected, but rejection is something you must get used to. The more you hear it, the less it stings when you do. This allows you to focus on the next opportunity. This article is actually really positive, so please read on. I lost one deal and closed to that were not on my radar because I followed my own advice.

Sometimes It’s Better To Lose Gracefully

If you lose a deal shake it off and move on, quickly. Don’t let it linger, it happens, you did your best. If a prospect tells you they have decided to go in another direction, in my opinion, then the deal is dead. To me there is not much you can do change their mind.

Your prospects reached their conclusion based on a number of factors: costs, your presentation, online reviews and feedback from other customers. They have done their homework, evaluated every factor and came to a consensus. At this point, as a sales representative you have little influence anymore – they heard from you. Your next play is to decide if it makes sense to pitch your solution again down the road.

If you think you have a shot, you may want to ask if there is anything you can do to “sweeten the deal”. All they can do is decline but you cannot badger them to change their mind. Don’t be pushy, or aggressive. Prospects do not appreciate the aggressive pushy sales tactics employed by your competition and gives all sales representatives a bad name. So how should you react? My best advice, with tact. Send the prospect a thank you note. After all, they did give you their time doing the process. Here’s an example from my own world.

Forwarded message

From: Jeremy Jadczak Date: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM Subject: Thank You! To: “Emily”

Emily:

Thank you for getting back to me and for allowing me to come into your office to show you what XXXXXXXX has to offer. I appreciate your attention and thoughtful consideration of XXXXXX. Please let me know if you ever would like me to come back to further discuss our solutions with you.

Best wishes this year please stay in touch.

Regards,

Jeremy

The Good News About Losing Deals

Once you’ve done everything you can to save the deal, simply thank them for their time. If you ‘close’ a rejection right, the prospect may remember you when he or she does have a need for the solutions you are offering. Maintaining a positive attitude when dealing with rejection so that the urge to give in to negative feelings does not impact your other sales activities.

I have felt that you must maintain your composure and act professionally at all times. This is a tough life lesson for me and I have to remind myself of this from time to time. Anyone who has worked with me comes has the same conclusion “man, you are too hard on yourself, you can’t win them all.” They are right but still I hate to lose.

Always think ahead, ask yourself how can we work with this organization down the road? Maybe the prospect chose to go with a competitor who we know has an inferior solution or has poor customer service. My strategy when in this situation is light touches every few months with the prospect reminding them of success with other clients or sharing a story about a positive customer experience. This is where a white paper or testimonial is extremely important. If keep your cool and remain professional, that will be remembered. In one instance, I lost a deal, the prospect felt badly about telling me no, and then recommended two other organizations that we were an ideal fit with them. I lost one deal and landed two ones out of the blue…for realz!

Why Did We Lose This Deal?

If were ever going to improve and grow we need to ask these questions. After losing out on a sale, all parties involved with the process should be brought together for an internal meeting. During this meeting the entire process should be reviewed. Each step along the way needs to be analyzed for issues, problems and strengths.

There are a million reasons why a deal dries up. Just focus on what we can do to improve. If possible share your findings with others on the sales team to come up with alternative ideas and strategies. The point is to avoid the same scenario twice.

There are times where our competitor has a feature we did not have or are cheaper and that is beyond our control. Be prepared to make changes, adjust your pitch, strategy or even pricing. Sometimes the decision to go with another vendor is because of a better financial deal they got, and less about what benefits we offer. If the product or services needs improving we need to be able to share that with others in our organization.

What Factored in Their Decision?

You need to figure out what were the main factors in their decision to go in another direction. By learning this you will actually get stronger in your sales presentations and have responses to the tough questions. The tricky part here is not to take the loss personally.

Sometimes a prospect will not reply to your inquiries or return your phone calls. Why? Maybe it is because of fear that you will try to get them to change their mind. Another reason why is they just completed an exhaustive and time-consuming process to select a solution and now they need to move on.

When attempting to figure out what factored in their decision, you need to assure them that you recognize they made their final decision and you are simply reaching out to better understand how they came to that conclusion. Most prospects are likely to provide feedback either in person or over the phone so it is best to start there. If that is not available to you, try sending an email like this:

Hi XXXXXX:

Again I wanted to thank you for considering our products and services. It was an honor to be apart of the selection process.

We recognize that we were not selected and the purpose of this note is not to try to get you to change your mind. Rather, I am seeking your thoughts on what factored into your final selection. Your insight is valuable to us so that we can improve.

I know your time is valuable so I want to thank you in advance for any insight you are able to provide. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Regards,

When A Customer Decides to Leave Your Organization

This happens to everyone. I have seen when an organization wanted to leave their service provider only to have to deal with a representative that has been rude when a customer has tried to leave. They have made it difficult and stressful for the customer and I have always asked myself why? By acting the way they are burning a bridge with the customer and forever closing the door to them. They also come across as childish and very unprofessional.

When a customer wants to leave your business, help them do so quickly and smoothly as possible. It is perfectly acceptable to ask the customer why they are leaving but it is not acceptable to withhold their information or maybe a database hostage. You are completely professional and are open to the idea of working with them down the road. That’s it, wish them well, but move on.

To me it has always been amazing how I have learned and improved my craft based on horror stories of others in the business development field. It’s as if people forgot about the Golden Rule. If you treat those as you would like to be treated guess what? You actually make some friends for life and you are more successful.

I hope some of my insights are helpful and as I continuously strive to improve. I would love to hear your insights. If you want, I will put together the best insights for a future blog posts. Thanks for reading!