We hate to lose right? Nothing grinds my gears more, than losing a prospect.
I expect that I should be able to secure an order from all of my prospects. I expect to bat 1.000, however the reality is far from that. I definitely lose more deals than I win.
In fact, I lose about 65% of the time.
Is losing 65% of the time a bad thing? I don't think so, because I know that every lost deal moves me close a to obtaining an order, in addition there is so much to be learned from the deals you don't get.
Just today, I had a prospect contact me to tell me that they were not moving forward with my proposal, and that they are going to stay with their current vendor.
At first I thought it was awesome that I was contacted right away, because I wouldn't have to place countless calls or emails with no answers. Secondly, I thanked them for their time and asked why we were not able to secure their business. In a response email, I was told that pricing was similar for both systems, and they were happy with the present dealer and their level of service.
Hey, that's okay by me, I don't mind losing, because I was able to keep the door open for Managed IT and BDR, which they expressed interest in. The dealer that I lost to does not offer those services, thus I'll be able to schedule an appointment down the road and an opportunity to "own" the network. Once I own the network, I'll have a better shot at upgrading the copier sometime down the road.
The prospect emailed this back to me:
We were impressed with you and your presentation.
As I mentioned, it just came down to who we were familiar with since both your pricings ran neck-and-neck.
Here's what I learned from losing today
- The prospect values service and support because price was not the issue, this will be helpful when having a conversation about our IT offerings
- I was able to keep a high level of margin and was told pricing was neck and neck, thus on future deals against that competitor, I may have a leg up with pricing
- The prospect is loyal, because they stayed with the current provider. We're all in need of more loyal accounts.
- I found a prospect for Managed IT, yes sir, because I asked additional qualifying questions about their current IT status and initiatives.
- I found a prospect for Backup Disaster Recovery, could not help to see the dozens of backup tapes when they showed me their current copier system, which lead to, "what happens if there is catastrophic loss and when was the last time you tested your backup"
- They will be a prospect again for a copier in 30 months or so, and what comes around goes around since they decided for a 36 month lease.
All of the above then gets logged into my CRM, along with a call in two weeks to schedule an appointment about Managed IT services.
With baseball, not getting a hit in 7 out 10 plate appearances over your career will land you into the Hall of Fame. In sales that means for every 3.3 opportunities I will have a sale, I'll take it any day of the week!