Top 10 Sales Disasters, 10 Steps to Recovery and Hurricane Irene

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Sep 07, 2011 @ 10:09 AM

storm damageThe typical swimming pool, lawn and garden do not require a lot of maintenence time in order to keep them looking good.  For the most part, you develop a routine, determine a frequency, allot a certain amount of time each week, and you're golden.  Sales calls/meetings should be similar in that most of your calls/meetings should follow a similar routine (your sales process), last approximately the same amount of time (ask for enough time to complete your sales process), happen with the same frequency (either a certain number of calls/meetings per day or week; or a certain number of calls/meetings per sales cycle) and you're golden.

But what happens when disaster strikes?  Recently, Hurricane Irene left a large path of destruction along much of the eastern United States.  What routinely took an hour to maintain could now take up to a week or more to get the same result.  You can't rush, you need to be extremely careful, you might have to get help and the work may be much more labor intensive and difficult.

What about a sales disaster?  First, what are the sales disasters?

  1. Your contact departs from a major account
  2. You're told that your competitor will likely get the business
  3. Your customer is dissatisfied
  4. Your customer is angry with you or your company
  5. A customer cancels their business with your company
  6. A customer gives you an ultimatum and the offer is not acceptable
  7. You can't meet their deadline or spec
  8. Your product fails or your service doesn't work
  9. They misunderstood something you said and won't talk with you
  10. The prospect disappears or goes into hiding
Of course there are more scenarios but you get the idea.
Disaster recovery in sales is just like disaster recovery after a Hurricane:
  1. Assess the damage
  2. Strategize your clean up operation and get help
  3. GO SLOWLY - TAKE YOUR TIME
  4. Apologize for something
  5. Rebuild the relationship
  6. Reestablish trust
  7. Start your sales process from the beginning - not where you left off!
  8. GO SLOWLY - TAKE YOUR TIME
  9. Allow them to say no at any point in time to keep the resistance low
  10. Keep them comfortable

Sales Disasters and Storm Damage are very much alike and you handle the recovery in very much the same way - slowly and carefully.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, lost the sale, lost an account, hurricane irene, sales strategy

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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