Like The Miami Heat or NY Knicks, I hate losing. I feel like every deal I am involved in I should win. And when I lose, I need to know why. Over the last 2 - 3 years, I have lost a couple of big deals (fortunately I have won many more than I have lost). I think one of the main reasons I have lost deals is OVERCONFIDENCE.
In one instance, the SVP of Sales and Marketing referred me to his team but then took more of a hands off approach than I expected (he did coach me but was unwilling to exert himself internally and his team resented me being “imposed” on them).
In another, I thought because I had very strong experience in the recent past, and, my offer had such a strong fit, I didn't listen as closely as I could have and I didn't meet all the people involved in the decision (the DM cancelled twice). I tried but not hard enough.
Why is overconfidence so dangerous?
1. You didn't prepare as much as you should
2. You took for granted the prospect will see your value
3. You took for granted that your personal contact will make the deal happen for you
4. You underestimate your competition
5. You aren't as meticulous or zealous about thinking through the deal and all of its details
6. You don’t prepare for your presentation as well as you ordinarily do
7. You didn't get others involved as early or as often as you should have
8. You didn't place enough value on the opportunity since you have others that are working and you are doing well – thank goodness.
So how do you avoid all of this?
1. Don't do all of the 8 things above
2. Treat every deal as if it is the most important and last you will ever have
3. Even if you can’t meet people, at least send them an e-mail to confirm your agenda and ask what is important to them
4. If you only have 30 minutes to present, worry less about detail and more about making an impression by having them experience you vs. learn about you.
I know I, or the Miami Heat can’t win every deal or game, and there are circumstances beyond our control, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try your best every time.
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