A sales opportunity is a labyrinth. It’s a series of decisions that you have to make. Some of the decisions you make move you closer to your goal. Other decisions lead you to a dead end.
Some of the labyrinths seem to look the same. It can feel as if you’ve uncovered the pattern that unlocks all labyrinths, especially when two labyrinths seem to follow exactly the same pattern. But you’ve haven’t unlocked the pattern. Following that pattern exactly may lead you to a dead end the next time.
It’s dark in a labyrinth. You can only see so far in front of you. You have to make choices based on your belief that they are the right choices. You make these choices even though you can’t be 100% certain they lead to success.
If you come to a dead end and there is still time on the clock, you can backtrack and make different choices. You can try again. But there is no guarantee that the next choice you make will be the right choice either.
And some choices you make immediately end the game. Game over. You lose.
When you lose an opportunity it’s easy to see that you could have taken a different path. Now that you’ve lost, you know that you should have taken another path. Knowing what you know now, you most certainly would have taken a different path.
But none of this is exactly true. You never have a view from above the opportunity labyrinth where the path is plain and clear.
Is the path to a deal always clear?
What causes you to get lost and have to backtrack when you back a bad decision?
What roadblocks do you run into that aren’t of your own making?
Is it always true that you can identify the path you should have taken after the fact? How do you know?