I was talking with a change agent/guru this morning, and we started to talk about the politics behind a sale and getting the deal closed. I started to reminisce with him about some of the deals in my early career where I believed that I had done everything right and met the prospects’ expectations. I was confident that I had managed and executed a good sales campaign, and then the unimaginable happened – NO deal! I get a phone call or an email to tell me that they had selected another vendor. This was like getting punched and losing your wind. The deal was lost, and I had no idea why….
Then, over time, I began to track the reasons, and I figured out that politics had played a hand in some of the deals that I lost. I began to ask my clients why, and one common denominator was that the other vendor had a better RELATIONSHIP with a higher-level or another key player in the account. This was an epiphany for me and a strong lesson in sales communication and about the importance of networking IN the account. From those days on, I made it my business to make sure I was networking with the goal of developing solid and positive relationships at the highest levels possible. I hated the idea that I lost business because I did not know the right person! I could handle that I made a mistake on something like this that was in my control. So, ask yourselves: Are you selling at the right level? Does your prospect have the relationships with the right people to get the deal done? Have you established enough trust and credibility to get your prospect to take you to the decision-maker? Just some questions to ponder as you might be wondering why a sale fell through….