The Best Response to ‘No’
You went all-out to get the sale. You prospected, cold-called, followed up, presented, and modified – but the prospect still went with someone else.
Losing a big one is tough, especially when you’ve really put your heart into it. But how you respond can render all your hard work either a complete waste of time – or a solid foundation for future business opportunities.
Keep your efforts from going to waste by following this plan.
Listen. The prospect will probably say they liked your proposal but felt compelled to choose someone else for very specific reasons. Listen carefully to these reasons to gain some honest tips on how to improve the next bid.
Express your disappointment – with dignity. “Well, I must say I’m disappointed…” This not only shows grace in defeat but also a commitment to the prospect.
Compliment the customer on their choice. Never bad-mouth the competition. It makes you look small and insults the prospect’s judgment. You may choke on the words, but find a way to be sincere: “I’m sure you’ll like XYZ Company. It has some good products/services.”
Leave the door open. You know XYZ isn’t the best choice. Eventually, the prospect will realize it, too.
Make sure you remain the next best choice. “If I can help, please call. I’ll check in with you every now and then.”
Then do it.