I sold a great service with a proven track record and a potentially huge impact on the prospect’s bottom line. An internal champion was pushing hard for me. He’d set up a meeting with the key decision makers. But they’d shut me down. “We already have a plan, and you’re not in it,” they said.
“Thank you for inviting me to present to you today,” I told the buying committee. “But we all know I am not going to win this contract.” I was dead serious. We were a $42 million company invited to bid on a $400 million call-center deal. All of the other semifinalists were much, much larger.
It takes a lot of good selling to get in front of a CEO. But it only takes one mistake to blow the opportunity. Here’s an exchange between a salesperson and a CEO that got completely derailed. Can you guess why?