I’ve written a blog as well as a complete chapter in my book on the topic, “What can we learn from a lost sale?” You can read the blog on my website. However, in my humble opinion, we should also take the time for a debrief on why we won the deal!

Recently I was talking with a former colleague at EMC regarding potential topics for my blog. Brendan brought this topic up. Quite frankly, I believe that sometimes we fail to ask our customers why they chose our solution over the competitors. We are excited about winning the deal and move into delivery mode without taking the time for a debrief.

It is my belief that we don’t ask the question because we are convinced we know the answer. Or maybe we are concerned that asking the question will raise a red flag. But what if the reason the client purchased from you was not the reason you assumed it was? Then you are setting yourself up for a potential loss at that account in the future. In addition, you are not arming yourself with the correct data that could be instrumental in helping you close more business with your customers and prospects.

So when you are told you won the business, take time to sit down with your customer to sincerely thank him or her for the order as well as ask specific questions about why you were awarded the deal. Perhaps you assumed you had the best price. Then you find out you were not the low bidder, and the customer simply felt more comfortable with your service and reputation. Or maybe you learn that the customer didn’t trust the other sales rep and feels more comfortable with you to deliver on the proposal.

You see, it doesn’t matter what we, as sales people, think the reason for the client’s business is. What matters are the REAL reasons decisions are made in our favor — and how will we know for certain if we don’t ask the question?

The bottom line is this: Whether you win or lose a deal, take the time, in a professional manner, to understand the reasons why. Knowledge is power, and it will help you prepare for your next sales campaign.


Use words carefully — think before responding

Proverbs 12:18 

Rash language cuts and maims,

But there is healing in the words of the wise.