Written by: Ken Kupchik
Sales can feel like a rollercoaster sometimes. One minute you’re on top of the world, feeling confident because everything is going perfectly and deals are closing left and right, and the next minute you’re at rock bottom, everything is falling apart and your confidence is shot. There aren’t many other careers with such exhilarating highs and depressing lows.
(By the way, if you use Spiro, you are guaranteed to have more ups than downs, as our customers report growing deal size by 30% and increasing their monthly sales by 20% after implementing Spiro’s full sales CRM.)
But do the lows really need to be so bad? Losing a deal can be a terrible feeling, but there are ways to use it to your advantage. We all have a choice when it comes to reacting to a bad situations. We can either let it bring us down and wallow in our misery, or we can use it to our advantage. If you want to do the latter, then you should allow lost deals to turn you into a better salesperson.
Here are five ways you can do that:
1. You can use it to find out what you did wrong
When you lose a deal, it’s important that you understand why you lost it. The reasons could be wide ranging, and may include things outside of your control, like pricing or a poor fit for the prospect, but it could also be something that you might have done incorrectly. In either case, there is something you can learn from the situation to adjust your approach next time.
Even if it’s something that you have no control over that cost you the deal, you will be much better suited walking into your next pitch if you understand what went wrong, so that you can position your product accordingly, and be better prepared to deal with that particular objection. The worst thing you can do after losing a deal is not take a minute or two to take stock and understand what went wrong.
2. It can help you develop grit
Sales requires more persistence and grit than the majority of other professions, and losing a deal can be a great way to help you develop that grit, but only if you allow it to. Grit can be learned just like any other skill, but the true test of your grit is when you keep pushing past the sting of rejection, not allowing a lost deal to slow you down or dampen your enthusiasm.
The next time you lose a deal, take a step back and ask yourself how a gritty person would react in the situation, and do exactly what comes to mind. If you can teach yourself to brush off the setback of losing a deal and keep pushing forward unabated, you’ll instantly have an advantage over other salespeople (and people in general).
3. You won’t be wasting any more time
Life is all about perspective, and there’s no reason not to look for the silver lining and be an optimist, especially in sales. When you lose a deal, you’re freed up to focus on prospects that are actually likely to make you money, instead of throwing more of your good time after bad.
To put it simply, you’re better off finding out that someone isn’t interested or that a deal won’t work than you would be if you continued to devote your time and energies trying to convince someone to take a deal that isn’t going to happen. Focus on the deals you can close, and cut the dead weight as soon as you can.
4. It shows that you always need to be working on many opportunities
One of the best lessons a lost deal can teach you is how important it is to keep a full pipeline. A huge mistake that many salespeople make is either focusing too much on one (or a small handful) of prospects and neglecting to build a big sales funnel, or prospecting aggressively until there are lots of deals in the works and then taking their foot off the gas to deal with the bottom of the funnel.
A highly-competent and successful salesperson will keep prospecting while they’re working their close-to-closing deals, never taking their foot off the gas. This isn’t an easy balance to get right, and most salespeople struggle with it, but it’s absolutely what you have to do to become the best.
5. Even a lost deal is an opportunity
Even if a deal didn’t work out, it absolutely doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to gain from the person or people you’ve been speaking with. You should always take the rejection with professionalism and grace, and keep the relationship open in case anything changes in the future. There are plenty of instances where a prospect decides to go somewhere else or hold off only to change their mind or come back days, weeks, months, or years later.
There’s also plenty of opportunity for referral business and networking through prospects that you didn’t close. So never burn a bridge with someone who chooses not to do business with you, there is always long-term value to be gained through professional relationships.
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