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Don’t Burn Bridges!

The most painful moment for a Sales Professional is when he has to hear that a much awaited order has been decided in favour of a competitor.

His entire Sales career flashes before his eyes!

The hours spent in preparation, the electrifying pitch he made, the number of concessions he got from the Boss for the client and the priority promised in processing the order – all that just to convince the customer how much value was being accorded to his patronage – everything gone waste in one fell swoop. One is left with a blank feeling – then dejection, frustration and anger flood in!

But is it very a wasted effort? Failures are great moments to learn from – about ourselves and about things happening around us.

If one were to analyse the situation carefully it wouldn’t be as bad as it seems – customers go elsewhere with their business for a number of reasons:

–          They don’t want to rely on one service provider

–          They want to spread the risk

–          They want to give another vendor an opportunity

–          They received a better offer from another supplier

It is also important to carefully evaluate our relationship with the customer and our service history to check if those had any bearing on the loss of business.

No matter what the reason, or how painful the loss, remember one thing:

–          Part as friends!

And as a corollary – Never bad mouth the customer.

I read about a case where a Salesperson wrote quite disparagingly about his customer on his personal blog, after losing a sale, and it was seen by the subject of his wrath. He never managed to get another sale from that account. Shooting your mouth / mind off never helps!

Another reason for staying friends is that “the world is a small place”.

People change jobs more often these days – soon you will be representing another organisation and the buyer who refused you the order may be seated in a position of power in some other account. If you had previously parted on a bad note it can take a long time to restart the relationship. You have shut the door on yourself.

You may lose business once in a while – it can be tough to recover from such a fall; but if you fall from grace recovery may be impossible!

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