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The Lost Deal – How to Recover After Losing a Sale

“I’ve been working a nice size deal for a while that I was sure was going to come in – and now they decided to hold off. I really needed that deal to help me hit my monthly quota – but now it’s not going to happen and I’m literally sick to my stomach. What should I do?”

SalesBuzz Answer by Michael Pedone
Losing a deal one believes they should have had is a tough pill to swallow for a lot of sales reps.
Some sales advisors may offer the advice of going back in there and trying to re-win the deal etc., however, for this article I’m going to focus on what to do in those cases where the deal really is (at least for now) not going to happen.
When this situation happens to me, here’s a checklist I run down in order to help me get back on track.

1) Accountability

Almost every lost sale can be traced back to a missed sales step(s). Losing a deal that you should have had is an expensive way to learn how to sell, but it costs nothing compared to the expense of constantly making the same mistakes over and over again and then placing blame on the leads, marketing, the economy, or your pricing structure.
Analyze the sales steps that you went through (quickly – as in spend a minute or two thinking about this – not hours or days) and if steps were missed, own it and resolve to not miss or skip them again.
An example in this case (they decided to hold off) could look like this:
Prior to ever doing a demo / presentation:

  • Did you ask them their time frame for wanting a solution? (Temperature check)
  • Did you ask what their reason was for wanting a solution now? (Hot Button / Pain Point)
  • Did you truly uncover what their ROLE is in the decision making process? Are they really the Decision Maker or are they an Info Gatherer?

These are just a few sales questions that if “peppered in” during the qualifying phase of the sales process may have exposed the validity of this potential deal.

2) Your Mental Game

Once you do a quick analysis of your sales process with this particular prospect, no matter if you did everything right or whether you found a few areas where you could have done a better job, you need to get right back on the phone looking for your next deal.
The last thing you want is for that one missed deal to turn into 2, 3, 4 or more lost deals because your mental game isn’t where it needs to be. You literally have to forget about it and move on.
This is no different when a pitcher gives up a home run or a goalie gives up a goal. Your focused needs to be on the next sales call.
This takes a little practice and a lot of will power but once you master it – you will be able to recover quicker and often you will find other deals that will help you forget all about the one that got away.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone is a straight commissioned sales person with 20+ years experience selling by phone. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – an online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to eliminate call reluctance and close more sales.


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