I don't know if you realize it (that's sarcasm) but a deal of mine died this week. Months of work on my part, and more importantly, dreams on the part of my clients. It's sad for all concerned, but now is not the time for emotions....it's the time for analysis.
Every transaction dies for a reason...and without going into the "not meant to be" arena, I always spend the time to analyze the situation and see what I could have done better.
I know we all strive to be the best we can...and failures are the best source of training. If you look at it that way. I know it's more tempting to crawl into bed and cry but experience is our best source of training.
My dad spent his entire life in sales...spending 25 years as VP of Sales and Marketing for a major Southern California company. Early in my own sales career he gave me a list of questions that he asked himself whenever a transaction didn't go through. He emphasized that it was only failure if we failed to learn something from it.
Oh if it were only that easy to see dead deals that way. :/
But I'm going to share the questions with you...because if we view the failures as training and not losses, then we really gain from each one. Don't we? (nope..not going to answer the questions here...still thinking it through).
This list was created on a piece of paper from his desk, and now it's yellowed with age. We had gone to lunch after one of my first few weeks of sales. It was my first job after college and I worked for a food broker (yes, dad helped set me up). I was supposed to sell promotions for my vendors..not a huge sales job, but the start. And dad took me to lunch (very professional lunch) and wrote these down for me on a sheet of paper. I wonder what he would think if I told him I still had it and used it as a debriefing of sorts.
1) What was the main reason for the failure?
2) Did I do all I could? Did I prequalify to the best of my ability?
3) Did I do everything I promised to do? Everything it was my duty to do?
4) Did the other party do everything they promised to do? If not, how could you have ensured they did?
5) Were there warning signs that weren't addressed?
6) Were there any third parties involved who didn't perform? were they our vendors?
7) What one thing would you do differently?
8) What is the best thing about the transaction?
9) What is the worst thing about the transaction?
10) Are you ready to move on?