For Commercial Cleaning Business Owners Looking To Grow Their Businesses…
Why Didn’t I Close the Sale? 2 Important Win-Loss Questions (Part 1)
Losing is always hard. Learning you are the loser in a deal you worked hard on and really had your heart set on is a frustrating, humbling, and embarrassing event. In this circumstance, perhaps it’s time to honestly ask yourself the following two questions:
1. Did I take the customer’s word at face value? For a moment, put yourself in the position of the person conducting the vendor “walk-thru” …They are probably meeting with several different vendors (perhaps conducting a “group” walk-thru with more than one at a time). They probably don’t know any of you. Chances are also good that the “know, like and trust” factor has not yet come into play. As a matter of fact, they may even be bordering on hostile during the walk-through process because they may perceive you as a “sales” person (a four-letter word to some people) and may have their guard up. If this isn’t their area of responsibility of they were asked to do this at the last minute, they may even resent the assignment –and you by extension. Keep all of this in mind as you probe for information that may not be forth coming. This is one reason why it’s a good idea to get the answers to as many of these questions as possible BEFORE booking the walk-through appointment:
a. Why are you soliciting bids at this time and who will be making the final decision? b. How did you hear about my company and what made you invite us to submit a bid? c. What are you currently satisfied (and dissatisfied) about with your current provider? d. What is the #1 factor you will consider when comparing proposals? e. Also: number of employees, sq. ft. and window of opportunity for cleaning.
Wrong (or no) information on any of these keys points can KILL your ability to put your best foot forward when preparing and submitting your proposal.
2. Was I able to develop an “ally” within the account? In order to win every deal you need a constant, accurate source of information revealing the internal machinations of the customer’s desires and selection process. For many years, the term “coach” has been used by all types of business people, selling every conceivable product, to define the person within an account who provides this intelligence and privileged information. As long as you can do this is an “authentic” way without being “smarmy” do it! It’s a good idea to send a hand written thank you note to the person who did the walk through (or the end user if it’s someone else) as soon as you can after the walk-through. This begins the “courtship” which is the sales cycle you will operate in until you have the account. It’s also a great way to begin what will hopefully be a long term relationship with a valuable customer. Now I know you may be thinking “I don’t have time to write notes to every prospect” but if they’re not worth a “thank you note” now, why even bother to submit a bid? ONLY go to walk-throughs that you think have the potential to turn into good long term business.