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Don't Turn Your Back on "Lost" Deals - Here's Why.

The old adage that time is money might be most true for people who work in the sales industry and entrepreneurs. What you choose to spend time on can directly impact how much money you’re able to earn. A lot of sales people and sales managers embrace the concept of “next” - constantly moving on to new potential clients and ventures, as fast as possible.

Why waste time chasing your tail on leads that aren’t biting when you can pursue a new, fresh lead?

This might be true, but there is value in doing a little recon on lost leads.

The concept behind the title of “Sales Representative”, “Account Executive,” or some of the others names in the sales industry can be a bit misleading. If you are in the sales industry, you are in the industry of relationships.

The biggest stumbling block for you and for your business is not sales - it’s the idea of creating, fostering and continuing relationships. The best “sales” people are those who clients do not see as a “sales rep”. Instead, they see them as a business partner, as an expert in their industry, or even as a friend.

So when you get a no, should you just cut and run and try to make friends with someone new?

First, let’s define what we’re discussing as a lead or potential client that engaged with you or someone from your business, but ultimately chose not to do business with you. Your best case scenario for this person is that you broke away on good terms, but still without a final transaction and without a signed deal.

It’s also true that even the best companies lose some leads. There will always be some degree of failure. But each individual failure has an underlying reason. If you choose to break away contact with a lost lead, you not only miss out on the chance of a future sale, you also miss out on learning why you weren’t able to convert this lead into a sale now.

And if you generate leads digitally, there are some real questions you should be asking yourself:

  • Are there areas in your lead generation where potential leads bottleneck and end up dying?

  • Is there a reason why a particular lead engaged with you digitally but then chose not to continue? Maybe there’s a flaw in design or a lapse in follow-up.

  • Is there too little human interaction at certain stages, or perhaps too much interaction in general?

  • What are some objections that you faced from leads that went cold?

Answering these questions can help you more efficiently generate leads and to increase your success rate, even a little. Plus, finding a way to politely engage with a lost lead increases your opportunity to earn trust.

As a sales manager, you want to make sure your representatives know that they’re in the business of relationship building - not cash grabbing. Allocating some time to recon lost leads and to continue a dialogue with clients who backed away will almost always lead to new sales opportunities.

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