Everyone loses a sale once in awhile.
I’ve lost sales just as you have.
Everyone once in awhile a sale you lose can come back around and give you a second chance.
A few years ago, back before I knew how to negotiate up front, a prospect asked me for my best deal in writing.
He told me that he was doing this with each of my competitors, and that he would make his decision after that.
I was professional and treated him well during the sale cycle, but frankly I didn’t really comprehend how serious he was about wanting my best deal.
So I gave him a "good" deal, but I didn’t go as low as I could go.
You see I was selling business software, which has a lot of margin in it. We could generally discount it as much as we needed too. But it wasn’t like a hard-good where there is a fixed margin that you can’t go below.
So discounting for a best deal was always a guess.
Anyway, he wound up doing exactly what he said he would do. He went with one of my competitors who gave him a lower priced deal.
I told him that I was ready to negotiate. I assumed that my proposal was just the beginning of a negotiation.
I assumed – that’s where I went wrong.
He said "No", his mind was made up. He was going with the other company.
So I politely thanked him for the opportunity to compete, and said my goodbyes.
I could have started throwing out low-ball deals, sweeteners, incentives, etc., but I didn’t. My read on him was that he didn’t really like sales and negotiations and that he as going to move forward with his decision.
About a month later I got a call back from him.
He asked if we could meet to discuss purchasing my software.
I asked what happened, and he told me that other company’s software couldn’t do everything that their sales rep promised. He thought that mine could, and he wanted to meet and get to terms on a cost he could work with.
We met, quickly made a deal, and I had a signed contract shortly after that.
Lesson #1 is to always be dignified whether you win or lose. And don’t act desperate either. You never know when the sale will come back around, or who else the prospect will tell about how you act as a sales person.
Lesson #2 is don’t assume. Insist on crystal clear understandings of what your prospect wants, and what he means.
People make assumptions all the time about what other people say and mean. When selling, this can really screw you up.
You can rid your selling of all assumptions and get to crystal clear clarity with your prospects with the special questioning technique I show you for this in the Persuasive Questioning Techniques Course of the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program. Get on over there and yourself a copy now.