Losing an opportunity with your dream client is never easy. It’s painful to know that another salesperson beat you for the opportunity. Sometimes, however, it shouldn’t be painful to have lost at all.
Did you really deserve to win?
Did You Earn It?
Winning your dream client means paying in advance for the win. Did you really pay for the win in advance?
Did you call on your dream client continuously through the entire period between the time they last evaluated the idea of changing partners and now? How many meetings did you have with your dream client before they decided to look at potential new providers? Did your dream client really even know you?
If the first time your dream client has heard from you in twenty-four months is when they start to look at potential providers, you don’t deserve to win.
Did you nurture the relationships within your dream client that you would have needed in order to position yourself to win?
Did you identify all of the stakeholders, decision-influencers, and decision-makers to build a consensus around your solution? Did you work to understand who would make the decision and how the decision would be made?
If the first time anyone at a board room table ever sees your face and hears your name is during your presentation, you don’t deserve to win.
Did you spend time deep within your dream client developing an understanding of what would be needed to move them from their current state to their desired state? Did you identify all of the constraints that would prevent improvement and work with your dream client to mitigate them?
If you don’t understand what it will take to move your dream client to a better state, including all of the ugly challenges between there present and that future, you don’t deserve to win?
Did you capture their vision of what the right solution needed to look like or did you help to create one? Did you build a proposal with your client, or did you present your proposal and your vision of the right solution?
If what you presented doesn’t match your dream client’s vision of the right solution, if it is your solution to their problem and not one you have built together, your don’t deserve to win.
Did you present your ideas to the people that would make the decision informally, capturing their feedback and making the adjustments necessary to offer the perfect solution? Did you do the heavy work of the plow horse before you ever presented, or did you try to win by being a show horse?
If you didn’t already have the votes that you needed to win before they were ever taken or counted, you didn’t deserve to win.
Did you create and develop a solution that shifted the decision-making from price to cost, clearly demonstrating you and your solutions ability to deliver the greatest value creating improvement at the lowest cost? Did you believe that price alone would be enough to win?
If you didn’t have consensus that your solution created the most value for the money being spent, you didn’t deserve to win.
Did you demonstrate your commitment to seeing the project through, providing your dream client with the confidence that you would not only produce the result, but that you would also be there when and if there was trouble implementing and executing it?
If your dream client didn’t feel how much you really cared and didn’t believe that you would be their to manage the outcomes that you were selling, you didn’t deserve to win.
What Did You Do To Deserve to Win?
It’s okay to feel bad when you lose, having done everything you needed to do to deserve the win. But it’s not okay to feel bad, to complain, to bitch and moan, or to make excuses when you didn’t do enough to deserve to win.
If you can’t answer the above questions in the affirmative, then you didn’t do enough to win. And if you can’t answer those questions with a “yes,” then you have to ask yourself a much more difficult and a much more telling question: “Just what did you do to believe that you deserved to win?