Ask These 5 Questions to Learn from Lost Opportunities

When an opportunity is lost, it’s tempting to play the blame game. Maybe you’re tempted to blame your company’s high price or someone in marketing for not giving you the collateral you needed to your message across. That approach is fruitless. Instead, if you shift your perspective and think of lost sales as opportunities to learn and adapt, you have much more to gain. 

I recommend asking yourself these questions to learn from “no.”

Why didn’t they buy? 

Chances are, it probably wasn’t the price. Was the prospect simply not interested in buying a solution like yours at this time? Does their current solution work better? Did you have a poor interaction with someone along the sales process? 

Did you miss something? 

Reflect on each step you made. Did you neglect to follow-up? When you did follow up did you just check in rather than providing something additional that demonstrated your value? Did you not speak with the true decision maker?

What barrier kept them from buying? 

Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Did they not have the decision-making power to buy from you? What constraints did they have that you were aware of? 

Did you educate your customer? 

Your job is to make them know what is possible by working with you. You can’t make your prospects buy, but you can educate them on the difference between the outcome of your solution and the outcome of the solution they’re currently using.

Did you compete on price rather than value? 

“It costs too much,” as an objection is absolutely your fault. That means that you have failed to provide enough specific value to them for them to pay what you know your product is worth. Could you communicate your value proposition better in the future?

Learning from lost sales opportunities requires a long, hard look in the mirror. You need to go into the film room, so to speak, and replay your sales process from beginning to end. Where can you poke holes in your approach? How can you better understand why your customers didn’t by? Self-reflection and applying the answers to the above questions is extremely beneficial when it comes time to work with your next prospect.