Archive for December, 2009

If you’re in sales you are inevitably going to lose a sale. Yeah I know that’s harsh but a reality. The question is what do you do when YOU  lose a sale?

The average sales person sulks for about a week, grumbles about missing quota then moves on to finding a new opportunity. WRONG!

If you’re in this trap you’ll be there forever.

It’s critical you maintain and build on the relationship you’ve started. Remember, customer implementations don’t always go well, managements changes, even needs change.  Just because you lose one opportunity with a prospect doesn’t mean there aren’t more to come.

This is what I do when I lose a sale.

  1. Send a thank you note. Yes, send a thank you note. Expressing thanks goes a long way to endearing people to you. Thank the prospect for the opportunity to have worked with them. Wish them success in their purchase. Emphasize you are still there for them in the future.
  2. Set a calendar date 30 days out to to followup with the prospect to see how his purchase and implementation has gone.
  3. If you come across an interesting article, industry trend, etc. relevant to your customer send that to him. Continue to be a resource for your prospect.
  4. Set a calendar item for 90 days from that date to follow-up with his implementation again. Dig to see if there are people he knows or other departments that might have an appropriate need for your product.
  5. Send holiday wishes throughout the year.
  6. Basically BUILD on your existing relationship!

Remember a NO today doesn’t mean a NO forever. Business needs change, management teams change, markets change, people move to new opportunities, etc. You want to be there when those changes arise.

For three years I’ve maintained and built a relationship with a prospect that chose a competitor’s product. Guess what three years later we’re now doing business together. Why? Because I kept working with the prospect. I kept building the relationship. And when, he became disgruntled with the service is had been receiving guess who he called? Me, the guy that kept interacting with him.

Remember every thing you do today leads to business tomorrow. The questions is are taking yourself out of the game when you’re told NO today? Or are picking yourself up, dusting your self off and getting ready for round 2?

Happy Hunting!

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While driving between sales meetings last week I was listening to KTIK Sports Radio and the hosts were talking about the greats of baseball which caught my interest. Now you can’t have a discussion about baseball greats and not discuss the great Pete Rose, even if you’re not a baseball fan. Now we can debate all day whether he should be in the Hall of Fame but you can not deny he was one of the all time greats!

You can’t argue with these stats:
Rose, a switch hitter, is the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053)[1], and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B & 1B). (Source Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Rose)

What made him great?

It was his LOVE for the game. His drive to get in the game as evidenced by this quote,
“I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.”

Now, that’s commitment, that’s passion, that’s love for the game!
When’s the last time you said, “I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to make a sale.”? I’d be willing to bet you haven’t.

If you’re not loving the challenge of a cold call, making a presentation, dropping by for a visit, digging in to negotiations, or doing some research for your customer you’re in the wrong game.

It’s coming upon the end of the year. If you’re struggling in sales I suggest it’s time for an honest self-evaluation. Are you relishing the challenge of sales? Are you anxious to engage with the customer? Do love making the presentation?  If not perhaps it’s time to hang up the cleats and head to a new playing field – a playing field you’ll love suiting up for.

Happy Selling!