The meeting is going along swimmingly. You prepared for it, you know their objections and have a solid plan for them. This is a big one – and you have been working for a long time with the promise of a big payoff. Ideas are flowing and strategies plotted. You are talking to the decision maker, and you have determined that they have the money, interest, you have their target audience – this is going to end up great!
And then it takes an ugly turn.
They just want to run it by their new agency. The decision maker (so you thought) isn’t really the decision maker. They have met before you came in with your fantastic and targeted presentation, and they think this might be a better idea. Things go south rapidly. You are blindsided with “new” information. The tone changes and the temperature drops. Your jaw dropping (figuratively or literally) you scramble to recapture the great momentum and feeling you had earlier in the meeting. But damage has been done. This deal is doomed.
So now what? What are your options, other than hiding your unfavorable outcome from those who are depending on you to bring that business in?
- First, lick your wounds. Go fishing, vent to your BFF, go for a run. Do what YOU need to do to get control of your emotional and guttural response.
- Analyze the situation . If it wasn’t under your control, know that and come to grips with it. If it was information you should have had but missed, be honest and figure out why. Did you ask all the right questions? Did you, perhaps, not fully listen, not want to know, or not read the writing on the wall? Did someone with another agenda have their ear? The truth may hurt, but you don’t want to find yourself in that position again if it is avoidable.
- Determine if the situation (and the relationship) is salvageable. And if not now, then into the future.
And about those options. Now what?
- Try again. Re-establish credibility or the relationship with the new decision maker, the agency or the decision maker who changed course on you. This make take an investment of time. Then, when the time seems right, go for the grand slam home run again.
- Compromise and accept less than you had thought and planned for. This may be an investment also – one in which you can keep in the game, but not at the level you anticipated.
- Walk away. If there is collateral damage with trust or relationships from your customer or from you, it may take more time and effort than you want to invest. Spend that energy and your knowledge on someone who appreciates what you bring to the table. Move on.
You control your business. And while you do have accountability to your management, you ultimately decide your options. Use your media sales CRM to find more prospects who deserve you. They are out there.