Learning when you lose a deal?

We all have lost deals.  Some were a surprise (some not).  It happens even when you have done a great job planning, paying attention to detail and delivered a well-structured proposal.  You know the frustration you feel from these situations…I am familiar.  How do you get some clarity from the experience and, more importantly, some value?


Start asking questions

The first thing to do is look in the mirror.  Ask yourself:

  • What do I need to do differently?
  • What did I miss?

 Then…start asking your customer for some input…so you can learn.  Many customers are willing to provide feedback:

  • What were the primary reasons for picking another solution?
  • How was the decision made (the process)?
  • What might you suggest I do differently?

Customers will respect your professionalism and interest because you followed up.


Share the feedback

You likely have co-workers, direct reports or colleagues that either helped you with pursuing this opportunity and/or would be interested in learning how to win more deals.  Good, bad or indifferent…share the feedback you get.  This can be an incredible opportunity for all to learn.


Review other deals you are pursuing

Given this learning experience, here are some key questions about deals that you are still pursuing:

  • What do you want to change about your approach?
  • What information do you need to obtain?
  • What do you need to better understand (e.g. decision process, players)?

You will be amazed how quickly new, exciting ideas develop about these open deals.  Stay curious and, as Roger Federer says, be willing to adapt…it will payoff!


Feel free to contact me directly for ideas and/or help on this or other topics!

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