One Simple Way of Losing the Sale

Rintu BasuCase Study, Sales2 Comments

Here is one simple method of snatching a disaster from the jaws of victory and not even notice you are doing it. It is an example of how some simple things really created a devastating effect even when everything was pointing in the right direction.

I once had the opportunity to sit in a sales meeting where the technical nature of the sale meant that the sales team had brought in an engineer to explain some of the intricacies of the product. It was a high value product and the sales team had worked hard right the way through the organisation selling the solution in at every level.

They thought they had the sale in the bag and the last hurdle they had to get through was some technical questions that the operation director had. Instead of going back and forth with the question they decided to bring one of their engineers to the meeting. I was purely there in an observer role.

Send in the Engineers

It was fascinating how I watched the sale slip through their fingers. Before the meeting I had watched them coach the engineer through everything they thought could come up. The engineer was solid in his knowledge and the product was clearly a good solution.

Industrial engineering designing

Once in the room the engineer had a crisis of confidence. It’s not that he didn’t present or answer questions and you may not even have noticed if you had not seen him before the meeting. But the way that his lack of confidence manifested was that he was a little hesitant and his voice would go up at the end of everything he said. It was like he turned every statement into a question.

Within minutes the operations director was becoming less confident. As a result his question was becoming more aggressive. As a result the engineer was become even more hesitant and unsure of himself. They left the meeting with the operations director being very unsure about the product.

Mind Your Body Langauge

Everyone in the sales team knew the meeting had gone badly but no one could work out why until I pointed out that the engineer looked like he didn’t know what he was talking about even though the content of what he said was perfect. He later confided to the team that he had never spoken to a director before and was nervous about it. As the conversation became terser he grew more nervous and it came across even more in his body language.

They did eventually get the sale but it took considerably more effort than they had expected and it was entirely due to the lack of confidence that they had installed in the operations director.

What Was Really Going On

Here is what has happened. The engineer despite being entirely confident in his knowledge and the product was not entirely confident in the context that they had placed him in. No one knew that that would happen to him because he had not exhibited any lack of confidence up until meeting the director.

The operations director was looking for someone that had expertise in the product and could answer key questions about it. Whilst the answers he was getting were logically the right answers for him the engineer was not delivering them in a way that instilled confidence. As such the operations director was disbelieving.

The sales team had a long history with their prospects and had several more opportunities to go in and discuss the product. As such they managed to pull it make and eventually made the sale. But if this had been one of their early meetings in the company they would not have been invited back. And even worse still they would not have known why they lost the sale.

 A Key Point

There are quite a lot of things you could take from this as a story and I will leave you to work through some of those for yourself. I will just focus on one thing that I think has huge significance.

They almost lost the sale and just as importantly the company almost lost out on a product that was exceptionally useful to them. But this almost happened because of things happen outside the conscious awareness of both parties and had no significance to the return of investment the product could bring…which is what the sales process should have been about.

The Hypnotic Sales Process is designed to get this sort of stuff out the way so you can get your prospects to make proper informed purchasing decisions based on criteria. This is a new course with some concepts you may not have seen before. So there is a hefty introductory discount that I will run for a few days. You can click through and find out more here.


2 Comments on “One Simple Way of Losing the Sale”

  1. Adam

    Fantastic article Rintu. Also, awesome course. Can’t believe how much content there is in it. Running through it again.


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