Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now If you lose an opportunity, lose gracefully. Maintain your professionalism, no matter how you lose. Be respectful of the prospective client’s decision, and be respectful of your competitor.At some point, your dream client is going to change their partner again. When they do, they are going to base their own decision about whether they allow you to compete for their business again on what they remember about how you compete (as well as how good of a job you have done nurturing the relationships you have built with members of their team).When you lose an opportunity, it is fine to argue your case, as long as you do so politely and professionally. It is also okay to ask your dream client to reconsider their decision, especially if there are issues surrounding their decision that may harm them (in fact, you are obligated to, if you really care about them). But you can’t be argumentative while you are pleading your case.There are boundaries that you do not want to cross, lest you prove to your prospective client that they made the correct decision by choosing your competitor.You don’t want anything you say or write to come across as a personal attack on the person or people who made the decision. You don’t want to attack their integrity or their ability to make a good decision. You don’t ever want to plead for their business because you were personally counting on winning their business (don’t laugh, I’ve seen this done).Your ability to lose with professionalism and grace is what allows you to maintain the relationships you need so that you can compete and win the next time. And never be so desperate for any one deal that you can’t be professional no matter what happens.
Much of the time what people perceive to be micro-management is really macro-management. Their manager is trying to produce the big, important outcomes, but because those outcomes aren’t being achieved, they have to ask about activity.
If you don’t know who your dream clients are, if you haven’t identified the best prospects in your territory, you have a form of friction that prevents you from prospecting.When you don’t know how to gain an appointment by trading enough value for the time you are asking for, the resistance you get when you ask for a meeting is unnecessary friction. The “no” you hear is friction.Your dream client has concerns about meeting with you, and those concerns are real to them. When you decide to overcome their objections you create resistance than would have been more easily removed had you decided to resolve their concerns. Unresolved concerns are friction.When you show up and begin a conversation by talking about your company, your products and services, your global footprint, and the big name logos you presently serve, you create the friction that comes with believing that you win sales by providing proof that your prospect should buy from you because your company and products are great instead of using that time to serve them. Self-orientation, in all its forms, creates resistance.Sometimes things that create friction feel like progress. Your dream client asks you tells you how impressed they are and asks you for a proposal and pricing. But because you haven’t collaborated around the solution and haven’t done the work to really understand their challenges or their constraints, you have created friction by providing them with something to which they can easily refuse. Lack of an effective theory about how to control the process is friction.In larger, complex, B2B sales, there are often more stakeholders than smaller, simpler sales. When you try to bypass including the people who are going to be effected by any decision to change, you create the friction that is their resistance to being excluded from the conversation. You also have likely created the additional friction that comes from losing the high ground that comes with dealing with friction.The intention to speed up sales does not create friction when the tactics employed mean slowing down. When the tactics you use speed things up, you create the kind of friction that can bring the entire process to a crawl.The remedy for friction is lubrication, making the surface smooth and even and easy for things to move from one side to the other. If there is a potential to create friction, then there is also the potential to create antifriction. If you want to make selling easier, then do the hard work of creating antifriction. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now