When you lose a deal, you own that loss. You have to believe that you could have done something different, something that would have turned the tables in your favor. Most of the time, there is something that you could have done that would have helped you win the business. But, not always.
Your business strategy can preclude you from winning deals. In fact, if you sell constantly with your company’s overall business strategy, you will lose deals because your business strategy is designed to ensure you lose.
The Price Is Wrong
If you work for a company that has made the decision to compete by creating compelling, differentiated value, that choice is going to preclude your ability to win by having the lowest price—or even by matching a competitor’s price.
You will have prospective clients who have the exact set of problems, challenges, or opportunities for which your value proposition is an exact match. Your prospect wants and needs precisely what you sell.
You and your prospective clients have excellent meetings. They are deeply engaged, providing information, and all the stakeholders believe you are the right choice. However, your price is too high. They are unwilling to make the necessary investment to produce the results your solutions provides.
Without the right investment, you cannot provide the solution. The investment they can make won’t get them what they want, and you can’t profitably provide the solution for what they can invest.
You are right. Your solution is right. Your price is wrong.
Your Constraints and Their Constraints
You can’t change the investment required to produce the results your prospect needs. This is the constraint imposed on you by the choice of your business strategy. Changing the investment means you are breaking your business strategy. That strategy requires that you capture the value necessary to provide compelling, differentiated value.
Your prospective client can’t—or won’t—change the constraint that is the investment they are capable of making. Wanting what your solution provides and being able to afford that solution are two different things.
There are times when you fail because you are unable to convince your prospective client that your higher price is worth paying. When that happens, there is a lesson available to you, and there are adjustments you might make.
Sometimes, however, your prospective client purchases a lower price, a lower value solution, because their constraint is real and difficult to overcome. In this case, your business strategy protects you from taking business that doesn’t allow you to deliver the value intended because you can’t afford to deliver it at a lower price.
These losses come with the choice of strategy. This doesn’t mean you’re wrong, and it doesn’t mean that your strategy is wrong. It means that you are not selling a one size fits all offering.
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Filed under: strategy