7 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Lessons Learned From Losing the Big Sale

In this article, we’ll discuss three lessons we think you should try to take from your big sales loss.

Rhys Metler

Losing a big sale can be a devastating experience as a sales person, but it doesn’t have to be a wholly negative one. Consider it an opportunity to learn. When you understand why you lost a big sale, you’ll be able to shore up your sales game when the next big sale comes around–and what works for big sales will often have implications for your smaller sales game, too. In this article, we’ll discuss three lessons we think you should try to take from your big losses–lessons that will make you a better sales person across the board.

Constantly Reevaluate Your Planning and Preparation.

When you lose a big sale, it probably makes you pause and reconsider what you did wrong from the very beginning. You’ll be considering every mistake, every possible failure point. That’s good, but it’s not enough–you should be taking a moment to consider your planning and preparation for every sale, successful or failed, big or small. 

If you don’t look at the successful sales, if you don’t look at the little sales, you’ll never understand what made you lose the big one. Take that energy and introspection from big lost sales and turn it into motivation for the little ones. Remember that feeling, that intensity of self-evaluation. It should be your default state, not something that happens rarely and too late.

Keep Track of How You Execute.

When you walk away from a big sale you’ve lose, how much do you take from it in hard data? How much of your process can you recall? If you don’t have concrete data, don’t have a well-practiced and well-refined process, you won’t know what you did wrong. This is separate from planning–many people who track their planning and prep don’t keep track of every incidental phone call or email, don’t note down when they tried a different take on their normal tactics or let the prospect steer them elsewhere.

A big sale can fall apart because of the smallest things–all sales can. Without detail, without data, you won’t be able to avoid repeating your mistakes. Take notes of your successes and failures, and if you feel like slacking remember the sting of the big one getting away.

Focus On What You Can Control.

In big sales, there are often countless factors completely beyond your control. In fact, there are always factors beyond your control in a sales scenario–but you can spot them easier when everything is larger than life. Look closely at your big sale and you’ll see the fixed, unchangeable points, the things you can’t waste effort trying to change. 

If you failed on one of those unchangeable points, you need to learn to compensate where you CAN make a difference. Learn this from big failures, where the fixed points are easy to spot, and you’ll find it much easier to handle smaller sales in the future. 

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.