In win-loss interviews you may often find something which wasn’t well understood or positioned correctly and that’s just life.
Hypothetical/Not-so Hypothetical: How would this sound to you if you were being interviewed in a Win-Loss call?
“Sorry that you didn’t understand we already do this, would like to see how it works?”
“I understand that you didn’t get a view of our roadmap and based on our discussion I think you are just going to LOVE our new offering. It does this and this and this and it will do all of these neat things too.”
If you were on such a call, chances are you would put up your guard and be less responsive to further lines of questioning, right? And yet this is a common mistake made by Win-Loss interviewers because they often too close to situation to be fully objective and many times it is the passion and pride around the product that wants to correct misunderstanding. Don’t, try to understand why a given perception was in place.
Resist the Temptation to Solve Problems Today
We all want to have answers when our buyers challenge us, but it’s a slippery slope to respond with an explanation of your upcoming offerings. Read that quote above again. See how offensive it becomes, even if you didn’t mean it that way? Attempts to solve buyers’ problems during the call can be well-meaning, but are actually quite counterproductive when trying to learn something new about your market.
Want to close down a learning conversation? Pitch.
Nothing closes down an open, learning conversation like a pitch. People are often willing to talk about your market, your product, your competitor’s product and more, but if they catch even a whiff of you trying to influence them, that all goes out the window. You want them to stay open and communicative for as long as they are will to talk. Plus, they have a laundry list of things to do today, and hearing a sales pitch was not one of them. Keep focused on learning all that you can about your market. Save the pitch for your next sales call.
Stay Focused On The Buying Process of Your Customer.
Chances are that your buyer has limited time to talk to you today, so make the best use of this time that you can. Remember that the goal of your call is to better understand all that motivates your buyer to make purchase decisions. With a strong focus on your buyers’ process, you will learn more from you buyers. And after all, isn’t that the point?
You Can’t Learn By Talking
A Win-Loss call is your chance to learn from your buyers. Since they have accepted your call, they are probably willing to talk and have given thought into what they want to tell you about your market. They are ready and willing to share, but they need to be given a chance. When in doubt, just remember: open your ears, not your mouth.