Why Did I Lose The Sale?

light bulbJune 15, 2008

Q: George, I lost this account I have been working on for months and I’m really demoralized. I worked on this
deal using all the techniques you taught us in the Sales Strategy seminar, got close to them and knew the issues they were facing.
Our solutions were not only the best solutions, but the issues on which they based their decision weren’t particularly important.
I’m upset for two reasons; one that I lost and two that I believe that they lost as well. HELP!
Alicia L; Arvada, CO

A: The reality is, that the one with the best solutions or the highest sense of service isn’t always the one that wins the battle. Solutions and service are prerequisite for success, but the one who wins is not necessarily the best person with the best product but simply the best competitor. You are not in a club by yourself. More than one sales professional has fallen victim to the feeling, that if he/she were the best at everything he/she didn’t have to worry about the competition. Think about the story of the Tortoise and the Hare as exemplifies that statement as well.

Under estimating the competition abilities can easily be the destruction of the sales process for you. You may have outsold your competitor on the issues YOU deemed to be most important but it sounds like you failed to outsell the competition on the issues that THEY FELT was most important to THEM.

1. Know your competitors: Knowing your competitors includes knowledge of where they are weak, where they are strong, their services and products and compare all of that to your product and services. Determine where you can be attacked as well and prepare.

2. Keep a beginners mind; don’t get frustrated, don’t panic, view all objections raised by the prospect as opportunities to validate your products, services, company and YOU. These types of objections can many times be the direct pipeline into what is MOST IMPORTANT TO THE PROSPECT! Solve these issues and more and you’ve got the sale.

3. If you can control the issues you can control the sale. Pick the issues that give you the competitive edge and create an emotional reaction for the prospect. You’ve heard me say in past newsletters, “set the prospects hair on fire” with your enthusiasm.

4. Sell to the individual not the group as a whole; when speaking to a group don’t address just one person in the room. Survey the participants and do it more than once to be certain that there is not some objection in their mind that is going to raise its ugly head as soon as you leave the room. Again I say, control the issues and you control the sale.

5. The issues you choose must carry the emotional energy I mentioned above. You must carry yourself in a manner that exudes confidence, knowledge and demonstrates your strengths.

If you will recall from our seminar, I said many times, there is 4 key items to making the sale;

a. You must know yourself inside and out including all of your strengths and weaknesses.

b. You must know everything there is to know about your products or services

c. You must know your competitors

d. You must understand the intrinsic needs of the prospect. Once you have what is important to the prospect, you can make the match.

If for whatever reason you are not able to evaluate your competition, what is MOST IMPORTANT is point “d” above.

Yogi Berra said it best, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Make an appointment with this prospect and perform a post mortem on the sale. Ask the decision maker why you didn’t get the sale. Don’t become argumentative, but this will give you one more tool to turn the sale around. And if you’ve truly lost this one, it’s a lesson well learned for tomorrow.

As always, I wish you a tremendous personal and business week. Call me if I can be of assistance.


George F. Mancuso

George F. Mancuso, CPC