Monday, August 11, 2008

How to Lose a Sale

I love the Olympics!

And the Olympics remind me that sometimes we learn more about people by how they win and sometimes we learn more about people by how they lose!

If you saw the U.S. men's swimming relay team win the gold medal last night then you know what I'm talking about. After the French men's team talked smack all week about how they were going to "smash" the U.S. it was a pretty tough blow for the French to lose. But there the French were, standing on the medal stand receiving their silver medals and congratulating the U.S. team.

The same holds true for jazzing up your sales. Every proposal you submit won't be accepted. Every prospect is not going to buy from you. How you "lose" the sale can be more telling to your prospective client that you might realize. Here are some ways one might act when losing a sale:
  • Get ticked off, act dejected and tell the customer they are making a big mistake.
  • Resort to begging... "Please, just give us a chance to work with you."
  • Bash the competition... "Did you hear what XYZ company did to so-in-so? They are lousy and can't be trusted."
  • Badger the prospect after they say no by sending repeated emails or dropping by unannounced.
  • Tell the prospect you appreciate being given the opportunity to work for him and you hope he will feel comfortable contacting you any time. Use the sales loss as an opportunity to start a relationship so that your prospect respects you and your company for future business.

Which one of the above options do you think will win you the gold medal?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I love that in your "gold medal" scenario (clearly the last one) you point out the importance of starting a relationship. You never know when a prospective client who turned you down might suddenly need your services. If you maintain professional relationships, maybe by sending periodic, pertinent email updates, these potential clients will think of you before anyone else.