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Why Did You Lose the Sale? Really?

 by Jeffrey Gitomer

 Seventy-four percent of salespeople complain about losing a sale because their price was too high. And 74% of them are wrong.

How did you lose the sale?
Why did you lose the sale?
Was it really price? Or was it you?
Losing the sale manifests itself as “blaming complaints” about: price, unreturned phone calls, bidding, loyalty to others and other blame-based excuses about why a sale does not take place and the relationship isn’t being built. Ouch.
Here are the major reasons why salespeople lose sales:
1. Customer loyalty to someone else. Your first job is to uncover what makes the customer loyal. What’s the real reason the customer continues to do business with someone else? Ask yourself whether you and your company possess the same qualities.
2. Lack of real connection to or with the buyer. The prospective customer is looking for comfort, peace of mind and assurance.
3. Lack of engagement. You weren’t able to create real interactive dialogue.
4. Lack of perceived value. If the customer does not perceive genuine, definable value in your offer, then there is none.
5. Lack of perceived difference. If the customer does not perceive genuine, definable difference between you and your competition, then there is none.
6. Lack of relationship. When a long-term relationship is present, truth, trust, and value are the basis of purchase.
7. Lack of hustle. The time it takes to respond to a customer’s need for service and/or information is a critical factor in purchase.
8. Poor salesmanship. This involves fundamental flaws in preparedness and presentation skills. There’s an obvious lack of questioning skills or sales strategies that create a buying atmosphere.
9. Poor attitude. The way you present yourself and your word choice combined with your tone and demeanor leave a huge impression on the customer. And that impression is positive, neutral or negative – and you choose how you made them feel.
10. Lack of ability to reduce or eliminate risk. This may be the prime factor in losing sales. And the least talked about. The simple answer is: proof. Can you substantiate your claims?
10.5. Failure to do your best. Without a doubt, this is the biggest flaw in salespeople. Whether it’s attitude, belief, self-confidence, preparation or follow-up, your execution at a level less than best leaves a huge opening for your competition to win.
REALITY: None of these reasons is ever stated by salespeople. Instead, they (you) blame the loss of a sale on price.
“They took the lowest price” is the most often stated reason for the loss of a sale. And it is totally bogus. It’s easy to blame price for the loss. It’s harder to face and discover the real “why.”
The reality (and lifelong value) of why you lost a sale is forever silenced when you blame the loss on price and move on to the next sale.
REALITY: “The customer took the lowest price” is as bogus as “My dog ate my homework.” The fact is that you let the customer control the selling/buying process. Not good.
STRATEGY: Get the customer to change the criteria of proposal submission in a way that is in favor of both the customer and you.
GIVE THE CUSTOMER IDEAS TO GET THE ORDER: Make the customer aware of the cost of buying inferior products as it relates to work stoppage and lack of productivity. Make the customer aware of the value of image and reputation.
PROVE IT TO WIN IT: Make everyone competing provide a video testimonial for each item he or she is selling and every claim he or she makes about it. Document and prove elements like service response time, how friendly you and your team are, and how easy you are to do business with.
THE REALITY OF BLAME: The opposite of blame is responsibility. In sales, responsibility is taken, not given. Be responsible to yourself and for yourself. Don’t blame the customer; help the customer. Do not let the real reasons you lost the sale get tangled up in blame.
ASK YOURSELF: Why did you really lose that sale? What could you have done to make it?
PATH OF LEAST RESISTENCE: Lowest price is the easiest excuse for a salesperson to make. Customers take lowest price because they perceive that your product or service is the same as your competition’s. Not good.
If you are sick of losing sales that way, then you’d better discover why they took the lowest price and create greater value differentiation. And though this is easier said than done, it is by far the biggest sales and profit opportunity you possess.
“Jeffrey,” you whine, “but what about ‘bidding’? You know – the people that take three bids, then choose the lowest price?” I’ve got some surprise answers about bidders next week!.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books including “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.” His new book, “21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling,” is now available. For book tour dates and information about training and seminars, visit or email him at

Submitted 10 years 228 days ago
Categories: categorySales Moves
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