Post Mortem From A Lost Sale

January 24, 2010

Q: Post mortem notes from a lost sale;

A: I recently completed a “sales post mortem” for a national company when they lost a huge sale. The sales team assured the Executive team that “this one was in the bag” when in fact it was far from the truth. So they hired me to meet with the prospect to find out why they did not buy, thus the term a “sales post mortem.” After meeting with the decision making team about their concerns and from my report to the client, here are some of the prolific reasons why. This could be a great learning piece for us all.

1. They pushed for the appointment which we gladly gave them. But once here did nothing to motivate me to meet with them again.
2. We did not believe they had an interest in what “we” were trying to accomplish.
3. We felt they saw us as strictly a buyer or someone to sign the order.
4. They truly came here with an agenda but the agenda was theirs and not ours.
5. It was obvious they had taken all the right classes on how to get to prospects and get around gate keepers, in fact they even bragged about it.
6. They tried to find our hot buttons and when they think they had they kept pushing them over and over.
7. They were just out of sync with our needs.
8. They could have learned more about us before they walked through the door trying to close a multi-million dollar contract.
9. We know our sales people look for great leads every day. [WE] happened to be a great lead but they did not spend time cultivating the lead, understanding us, and communicating [THEIR] capabilities to match [OUR] needs.
10. They were not customer driven, they sales quota driven.

Folks let me tell you these 10 points have a great deal of commonality. Listening, communicating, problem solving, integrity, honesty and of course LISTENING before you go for the close. This team could have made this sale and the close would have or could have come from the prospect saying, “by golly I believe you’ve got it and we’ll take it.”

A Post Note to This Story: The prospect was impressed enough that the company cared about their business to send me in to find out why and see what they could do better, that they in fact got a second chance at another project and although smaller in nature than the first, they ended up with a contract.
Have a great week and as always your comments are welcome. Call or write if I can be of assistance.

George Mancuso, CPC
Gman Business Resources