I recently had a fantastic meeting and thought the deal was in the bag; the prospect then turned around and said “I need to see another 2 suppliers before making a decision”. What could I have done differently?
This is really frustrating, especially when you had the feeling the deal is in the bag. The lesson I would take from this is to find out at the beginning, which other companies the prospect is looking at?
Once the prospect shares that, it’s imperative to find out what are the prospects three key priorities when choosing a supplier? Make sure you write down the exact terminology the prospect uses when describing what’s important to him, and then use that same terminology back to him in any emails or future dialogue. Let me illustrate how powerful this is:
I had a meeting with a company a few years ago and I found out during the meeting he was looking at my training company and three others; two of whom I was very familiar with. I then asked what will he base his ultimate decision on? He really opened up and said “it’s crucial the training is very practical and hands on so my team can put it straight into practice. He explained his team gets very demotivated and he needs the trainer to boost their morale and keep them performing at their optimum level. He finally shared that it’s important the company has experience in his industry, in order to get buy in from his team.
When I compiled my proposal, I made sure I used the prospects words that I highlighted in bold. To demonstrate my experience in his industry, I used testimonials and case studies from companies in his industry.
Now I cannot say with 100% certainty that was the only reason I won the business over my competition; however, I know it didn’t hurt.