When you find out that you didn’t win business you had planned to win, or your client suddenly goes silent and all you hear are crickets, what do you do?
Do you disappear or, even worse, blame the client for being indecisive, disloyal, or less than intelligent?
What if, instead, you could learn from lost business? Maybe even sidestep the frustration by way of curiosity?
I believe you can and absolutely should.
The best approach when faced with losing business is to engage your curiosity by exploring why you lost it. No matter how uncomfortable it may be, you’ve got to get to the crux of the matter with your former client. This is the only way you will be able to spot and prepare for similar situations in the future.
Keep in mind exploring a loss is not the same thing as dwelling on it. The former presents an opportunity for growth and development, while the latter acts as a breeding ground for stagnation.
Of course you’ll never know if the information you’re given is in fact the real reason you’ve lost, but I can assure you, it’s a heck of a lot more productive (and helpful) than not asking at all! It also sends the message that you are a professional and that you care about continuing to improve and being the best you can be. Not a bad thing.