The End isn't the End: It's an Opportunity

BY Rachel Cagle
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Defeat can sometimes be phrased as, “Thank you for your consideration.” However, if you’re careful with your wording, your response to the prospect who claims they’ve chosen another vendor could still be an opportunity for you, says Jeff Hoffman writing for HubSpot.

Putting Feelers Out for the Future

The end is an opportunity, but randomly reaching out to a failed prospect months after the sale didn’t work out doesn’t send a great message. It seems like, instead of pursuing new leads, you’re dedicating your time to less promising deals. Instead, ask the prospect’s permission to check in with them again after a few months. That will give the prospect the amount of time they need to gauge if they’re happy with their decision and will give you the opportunity to show that you can make long-​term commitments to help prospects better achieve their goals.

Gather Information/​ Sow the Seeds of Doubt

The benefit of failing is that you get to learn from your mistakes. Or maybe you didn’t make any mistakes at all and a competitor’s price was just better. Either way, the end of a potential sale is the perfect opportunity to figure out which it is. How will you know if you don’t ask? Hoffman recommends asking, “Price and terms aside, which vendor had the best technology?” That will give you hints on whether the product or your pitch needs work, and may also make the prospect realize that they’re giving up the better product.

Throw a Hail Mary Pass

Was a sale so close you could practically taste it but you could tell the prospect was still a bit shaky on the price? With permission from the higher ups in your company, ask the prospect if they have actually signed a contract with the competitor. If they haven’t, offer them a sizable discount. A price cut could be just what the prospect needs to sign with you if they were only tentatively falling to your competition’s side of the fence.