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Why You Lost That Deal

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Executive Summary.
  1. Five aspects to be aware of

 

pic_andrewSo often we believe we are going to win a project, assignment, engagement or deal only to find out that we have been passed over for a competitor. This abbreviated "explanation" letter will allow us to reflect as to why.

Dear Tom,
You asked me to provide some feedback about the recent contract we awarded, particularly about why your friends at Change Associates were not chosen. So here goes:

  1. The first couple of conversations I have with someone give me insight into what a long-term relationship will be like. In this case, your friends did not get off to a great start. They spent a lot of time telling me about their leading market position and their "unique" methodologies. It would have been much better to ask good questions, really listen to what I had to say, and to understand my organisation and its business challenges.
  2. Change Associates does have some history with my company, and in the past had apparently done some good work for us (although I did not know them well). Roger, their lead partner, turned this advantage into a disadvantage by giving the impression the business was naturally going to be theirs. When he met with my new vice president of finance, he was a little presumptuous. He treated it like a "courtesy" meeting that he had to get out of the way, rather than an important encounter with someone whose trust he had to earn.
  3. Roger's team simply did not put the same effort into the proposal process that the eventual winner did. I think they were complacent. The winner, Advanced Technologies, treated us like we were already a client and made a huge investment in understanding our business.
  4. Advanced Technologies added value at every step of the process. They didn't "promise" to share insights-they did it, in every meeting. They developed a whole piece on "the voice of the customer" that was stimulating to us. They offered to have us meet with another client of theirs who has gone through a similar transition (we didn't end up doing that, but I did talk to their CFO).
  5. Change Associate's bid was led by Roger, a senior partner. He did a good job in the presentations. But he dominated it. We know, however, that it's the team that does the real work. We didn't get a good sense for their team. Advanced Technologies, on the other hand, had several relatively junior staff (they were managers, I believe, and one was a young woman) take important
    Partner: Andrew Clare Registration Number 2002/093486/23 Page 3
    roles in the presentation. We appreciated them doing that. It showed that they really valued their younger professionals, and it gave us a sense for who they were and how well our people would get along with them.
    This piece draws on input from Andrew Sobel
    Andrew Clare is Managing Partner of reLiance a business to business relationship marketing practice. I focus on improving client profitability through developing, implementing and measuring sustainable, collaborative business to business relationships.
Andrew Clare is Managing Partner of reLiance a business to business relationship marketing practice. I focus on improving client profitability through developing, implementing and measuring sustainable, collaborative business to business relationships.

Cell: +27 83 326 2451, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Web: www.rassa.co.za, LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/andrewclare

 

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