Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Know Why You Lost That Deal!

You know the deal I'm talking about, right?  That big one.  That one that you thought you had figured out. The one where you spent hours, weeks, strategizing about what you THOUGHT the customer would probably do.

We've all been there.  We cultivate a customer relationship.  We develop the opportunity.  We get to a spot where we really believed that big deal was ours.  Then we lose.  We try to figure it out.

I sat in my office the other night strategizing with four other team members trying to figure out a really complex strategy for an account.  I mean this deal had more spin on it than Kobe Bryant's layup.  The pricing scheme was a nightmare.  The customer options were staggering.  We thought we had a good lay of the competitive landscape.  This was one of dozens of hours that we had invested trying to create the perfect scenario where we'd land on top.

One of the most fascinating topics squeezed in-between the complex strategizing was one of the big reasons we were sweating it, was that they "didn't like the way the technology looked."  Are you kidding me?  Here we are looking at this thing 100 different ways and there's this funny little cosmetic issue that rears its ugly head.  It made me stop and take a look at all of our efforts.  Did we really understand all of the simple things about the customer and opportunity?  Had we taken the time to be in a position to be working long hours?  Maybe so, but it allowed me a brief glimpse of reality.

Here's why you lost that big deal:  You didn't know something really important to the customer.  Maybe it was something you couldn't know, but here's the kicker:  it's the same reason that your competitor won.

Happy Selling and Happy New Year

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