Stop it. You’re killing the deal.
Over the past 20 years, in client-facing roles, I’ve won and lost my fair share of deals. I tend to learn more from the losses because I’ve studied them long enough to understand what not to do in future deal pursuits. I'm quite self critical so the losses stay with me longer. But I can’t say that I’ve won or lost a specific deal because of one particular misstep. To do so would fail to take into account all the factors that influence whether or not you close a deal. I recently read “Thinking in Bets” by Annie Duke and, early in the book, the author discusses the concept of ‘resulting”. Per Duke, ‘resulting’ is our tendency to equate the quality of a decision with the quality of its outcome. So even though I perform post-mortems on the deals I’ve worked on, I have to avoid ‘resulting’ when considering whether I made good or bad decisions throughout the deal process. But there are times when I know exactly what killed a deal. And I see it even more clearly when I’m helping others through the deal pursuit process. In the spirit of ‘paying it forward’, I’ll write about some things you need to stop doing if you want to close deals, not kill them.
Some of the information will be simple and straightforward. Others are so subtle that you don’t realize you’re hindering the deal until you’ve been made aware of the potential outcomes of your behavior. I’m going to help you become a deal closer, not a deal killer. Stay tuned....
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