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Why You Lost The Big Sale: Addressing The Four “P’s”

You’re waiting for the exciting news of securing the largest sale of your career.

You wined and dined everyone from the janitor to the C-Suite, you shook hands with the “old school” purchaser who stated that handshakes still mean something to him.

You’re anticipating the huge commission dollars coming in by the busload along with telling your spouse about the President’s Club award trip.  This is great, you out-maneuvered your competitor at every step as you knocked down every objection that came your way!  Now it’s time to celebrate your victory.

The phone finally rings, and you answer in the most welcoming of tones.  Sadly, the “old school” purchaser regretfully tells you that they decided to go with your competitor.

Your friend (term used loosely) in purchasing did not supply reasons as to why you lost the bid.  Now you’re pensive and tracing back every step from the beginning.  You went from blowing out your numbers to possibly missing your targets as you have no resources left and the end of the quarter is a week away.

I actually hear this daily as a sales trainer and consultant.

Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but the reason why you lost the sale is due to the lack of attention towards the 4 P’s:

People – Although you spent a lot of time with various members of your customers’ team, were they the right people?  You placed too much value on the relationship thinking that was the key component to landing the sale – and you were wrong.

Process – Did you ask the account how they arrive at selecting a bid?  You more than likely did not understand their process for how they made their decision.

Products – Be aware of the magician who believes his own tricks are real. In other words, every rep believes their product is the best, offers the most value or perfectly meets their customers’ needs.  You were thinking like every other rep – that is why you lost.  Did you check with impartial third-party contacts who weighed in the strengths and weaknesses of your offering?  Did you ever check in to think what they thought of your competitor’s products?

Price – You lowered to the rock bottom price.  You even received CEO approval for the deal (which frankly makes it even more embarrassing).  By assuming that your account was price centric, you probably put the last nail in the coffin.

More than likely it’s not just one of “P’s” listed above, but a little of each that led to the loss of the bid. When it comes to winning a bid, you need to focus on your key decision makers’ “X Factor,” or motivating factor, to determine what motivates them to act, not simply to overcome soft and hard objections.  Lick your wounds, tell your company right away about the loss of the sale and adequately address the four “P’s” next time. See you on next year’s Presidents Club trip.

Read more posts by Thomas La Vecchia, sales expert. Thomas blogs for JenningsWire.