You’ve done your homework, you’re dressed to impress, and you just delivered a compelling presentation to score a new client. You thought to yourself, “If we win this, it’s going to be our biggest milestone yet.”
They said they’ll keep in touch to follow up with the deal. You can’t help but feel optimistic. But after an unreturned email and follow-up phone calls, it finally sinks in: your sales pitch failed.
Instead of getting frustrated —it happens to all entrepreneurs, don’t worry—it’s time to take stock of the situation. Here are five productive alternatives to sulking in a corner after a failed pitch.
Investigate why your pitch didn’t work.
There could be a hundred reasons why your potential client decided to move in a different direction. From one little hiccup, missing details, or simply a “gut feeling” can cost you your next big sale. You might have said something they didn’t like. Or your proposal simply doesn’t match what they need right now. But until you find out why they’re not satisfied, you’re stuck.
Ultimately, a failed sales pitch can boil down to: insufficient research about their needs , an ineffective presentation , or weak client relations . The sooner you pinpoint the root cause, the sooner you can patch things up, make them right or use your lessons learned to woo the next client.
Don’t forget to follow up!
It does seem scary and intimidating. How can it not be? But all successful entrepreneurs will tell you one thing: in business, there’s simply no room for pessimism or hesitation. At this point, you have to admit that you need your clients. There’s no excuse to delay that imminent, much-needed follow-up email and call. So, dial them up, ask how their day went, and smoothly discuss your previous meeting. Who knows, this phone call might be the only thing standing in your way.
Revise—then send again.
Let’s go back briefly to my first point. If you’ve identified the reason why your pitch fell flat, then congratulations! This means you’re ready to improve your original sales pitch. And this is very good news. After repackaging the presentation and perhaps adding in some details the client requested, it’s time to revisit your deal. Re-sending it through email is ideal. Just pay close attention to your subject line and keep the email short and to the point. Aphone call to inform them you’ve re-sent the pitch will also work wonders.
Move on to another lead.
If nothing else works, the problem may not be you. Sometimes, clients decline a proposal because they have to for various reasons, including budget constraints, timing, lack of team buy-in, etc. When this happens the next smart move is to nurture other leads.
Don’t burn bridges.
Even if your potential partnership doesn’t come to fruition, end things in a friendly and cordial manner. You never know when an opportunity with your previous lead will arise again. So, don’t hold grudges and leave the door open for future possibilities! Remember that selling is not always easy. But if you face every hurdle with resilience and a positive mindset, then nothing can get in your way!
This article has been edited and condensed.
Shailany Vizconde works as Inbound Marketing Manager at Brand Embassy, a software company based in Czech Republic that provides one platform for all digital customer service channels such as e-mail, social media, and live chat. Social Media enthusiast, blogger and traveler by heart. Connect with @Brand_Embassy on Twitter.
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