How can you recover sales opportunities that you missed before?

Often people think about opportunities as future tense, as in “starting today I will start looking for new opportunities.” Instead, how can you focus on recovering opportunities that you missed before?

Your opportunity environment has several dimensions, and one of them is time.  Time isn’t only the present and future, it’s also your past. You need to examine your past to harvest lessons learned and identify opportunities you may have missed but could recover.

If you got a certain distance with some of your prospects in past, to the point where you were talking with them, but failed to make the sale, it is possible that you could still convert some of them?

Why do you fail to sell something to somebody who obviously needs it? Because they have not seen the value in the proposition. They have not considered your proposition to be a sufficiently compelling opportunity for themselves.

Even if the customer obviously needs what you’re selling, if you have not convinced them of the value, especially compared to competitive offerings, then they will not buy from you.

From a sales standpoint, let’s say that in the past you sold to 100 prospects, but you only converted one or two of them. Does that mean that those 98 you failed with earlier are not opportunities that you could recover?

Perhaps if you approach those same prospects using an opportunity process, and uncover much more value for them, then more of them will buy from you.

Unfortunately, when most salespeople think about opportunities, the default mode is “selfish.” It is purely “what’s in it for me” mode, in which you, or your organization is focused first on its own needs. But nobody will buy from you because you want a commission, or because your company has quotas to meet.

How do I show the buyer that it’s not just about you? That working with you could a great opportunity for them?

In the past, these prospects probably viewed you and your organization as a nopportunity, so they didn’t buy from you. But you can change that perception, by identifying ways to massively increase the value that you can deliver to them.

How can an opportunity process help you to do that? By helping you to identify sources of customer friction which you can replace with value. It’s like converting a liability into an asset.  If you can help customers solve their most difficult problems, they’ll certainly want to keep you around.