4 Questions to Ask When You Lose a Sale

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This article originally appeared on RainToday

When you don’t win a sale or a client leaves you for a competitor, it’s tempting to put the whole thing behind you and move forward. “You did the best you could,” you think. “If they don’t see I’m the best option, then good luck to them.”

But wait. Did you really do the best that you could? Is there a gap in your strategy? Was there something more you could have done?

To prevent more lost sales and keep more clients from walking out, you owe it to yourself to look at how you handled the sales process and the client relationship. Here are four questions you can start with:

1. Do You Have a Sales Strategy?

Not having a sales strategy is one of the “brakes” that slows a company’s growth says, Guido Quelle in his podcast interview “4 Sales and Marketing Practices that Prevent Company Growth.”

Sales organizations need goals, plans, and a strong leader who will keep the strategy on track and keep team members involved, he says. But a sales strategy alone isn’t enough. The company must also have a corporate strategy, and the sales strategy must connect with the overall corporate initiatives.

2. Are You Leaving Gaps for Competitors?

When you’re in the thick of it, working day in and day out to generate leads, nurture buyer relationships, and, in most cases, also doing client work, you usually can’t see any weaknesses you might have in your processes. You have to stop what you’re doing and put yourself in your competitor’s shoes.

When you can look at your business like a competitor would, trying to find any gap to take advantage of, you can better identify weaknesses you might have, says Jill Konrath in her video, “4 Critical Questions to Outsmart Your Sales Competition.”

“By looking at your best account from your competitor’s perspective you can do two things: 1) find out where you’re vulnerable so you can prevent it from happening, and 2) identify areas where you can create new sales opportunities,” Konrath says.

3. Are You Giving Buyers a Reason to Choose You?

You’ve heard the “no decision” reason for not buying. The prospect opts to do nothing rather than hire you. The truth is they did make a decision, says Andrew Rudin in his article, “5 Common Myths about Prospect ‘No Decision.’ They chose not to work with you.”

The prospect very well may have budget challenges or logistical issues for not using your services, but in many cases they didn’t see the value in working with you. If an executive believes in something and wants it, those issues can be worked out and the money can be found.

4. Are You Giving Clients the Attention They Need and Deserve?

Existing clients are almost always your best source of new business. That means once you have their business, you can’t stop giving them attention. Clients need continual care and feeding, or they will be open to suggestions if a competitor comes to call.

“While quality of work is the foundation, you have to romance your long-standing clients with the same energy with which you pursue prospects if you want to sustain and grow them over time,” says Andrew Sobel in his article, “How to Revitalize Client Relationships Gone Bad.”

Indications that you aren’t giving client relationships as much care as you should, according to Sobel are:

  • You don’t have the same enthusiasm for the client. You do just what you have to—no more.
  • You stop being proactive. You no longer challenge the client or offer new ideas and perspectives.
  • You communicate with the client less and less, which leads to a perception of reduced value.
  • If your sales are lackluster or clients sound hesitant to renew, stop and take a closer look at your practices. Even if you don’t find anything wrong, the analysis could help you uncover ways to be better.

See this article and others also at RainToday.

 

Michelle Davidson is Editor of RainToday. As such, she oversees all of the articles published on the website and publishes the weekly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report. She also produces the site’s weekly podcast series, RainToday’s Sales Tips & Techniques Podcast, and the site’s webinars. You may contact her via email at mdavidson@raintoday.com and via Twitter at @michedav.


Michelle Davidson is Editor of RainToday. As such, she oversees all of the articles published on the website and publishes the weekly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report. She also produces the site’s weekly podcast series, RainToday’s Sales Tips & Techniques Podcast, and the site’s webinars. You may contact her via email at mdavidson@raintoday.com and via Twitter at @michedav.

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