Losing a deal is never fun. We've all lost deals for a variety of reasons. However, if you take a step back, you may notice certain trends that have led to Closed Lost.
Below are 10 common ways to lose a deal. If you consciously avoid these common pitfalls, you will save yourself time, heartache and will certainly win more deals.
Day 1 - You forgot to do your homework
This one is a no-brainer. Before picking up the phone, before sending an email, do your homework. Do you know anyone that works at the same company as the prospect? Do you live in the same town? Do you know if the prospect has ever engaged with your company before? Know your facts and do your homework.
Day 2 - You forgot to qualify
Follow a qualification framework to ensure that you are spending your time on the right prospects.
Day 3 - You didn't involve team members
Team selling is incredibly powerful. Having another voice on the call helps establish credibility and adds another voice. Bringing on a manager will also help establish 'trusted-advisor' status earlier in the sales process. Invite co-workers onto your calls even if it means sharing a piece of the quota-pie.
Day 4 - You didn't ask good questions
Good questions go a lot further than elaborate diction. Get your prospect talking by asking questions that will help uncover their current goals, plans, and challenges. The more the prospect talks, the better, as it will give you more "bait" throughout the sales cycle.
Day 5 - You didn't pull the "8-mile" move
Do you remember the final rap battle in Eminem's movie, 8-mile? The one where he knew all of his competitor's lines? Think of this when dealing with your prospect. Why wouldn't they buy? What did your competitors tell about you (you didn't go to Cranbrook did you?). If you know the objections before they come up, you win. If you are caught off-guard, you are toast. Eminem fan or not, watch the clip.
Day 6 - You didn't have the data
Do you know when your prospect is opening your emails? Do you know when they are visiting your company's pricing page? Ask your marketing department to invest in sales and marketing tools such as yesware, Ominture, HubSpot, etc. The more data, the better. These tools help take the guesswork out of the sales process. Know when your prospects are interested in talking and know what they want to talk about.
Day 7 - You didn't have a customer reference
In competitive bids, customer references go a long way. Always have a customer reference in your back pocket to use when and if necessary. In transactional sales, do not use a customer reference prematurely or else you'll annoy your loyal customers. Don't be afraid to use a reference but use them at the end of the sales cycle when necessary.
Day 8 - You showed your cards too early
Don't negotiate until the prospect is bought-in. If they ask about discounts, do not engage unless they are ready to sign on the dotted line (assuming you can come to an agreement with the discount). Sales professionals oftentimes show their cards too early and talk money prematurely. Save the money conversation until the end of the sales cycle.
Day 9 - You forgot about your competitors
In software sales, prospects are taking a look at all of the industry players. They are listening to your demo and then comparing it to the demo of your competitors. That's okay, as long as you remember to ask questions around the competition. For example, you should ask the prospect if they've checked out other vendors and if so what they liked and disliked about the presentations. Also ask them next steps regarding the sales process with your vendors (i.e. "do you have other calls set up with XYZ vendor?"). If you forget to ask about your competition, you'll probably lose the deal because your competition is asking about you.
Day 10 - You believed the Prospect
Unfortunately, we cannot always trust our prospects. Oftentimes, people are afraid to tell you "no" and find it easier to provide positive affirmation. As we discussed before, "yes" is a dangerous word in sales. If the prospect says that the deal is coming in, confirm when the deal is coming in and book a reminder in the prospects calendar.
Stop losing deals in 10 days by being self-aware of your sales process. It is easy to skip steps, make assumptions, and forget to listen actively to your prospects. What steps do you take to actively win deals? Where have you seen success?