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If Moving Your Opportunity Requires a Do-Over

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
August 13, 2010

Sometimes you miss the opportunity to do your very best work on a sales call. Sometimes you leave without all of the information you need to really help your client. Sometimes you leave without gaining access to the people that can help you to understand your dream client’s needs and their vision of what a successful solution looks like.

If you are a long time reader of this blog, then you never leave without a scheduled commitment that advances your opportunity. But, let’s pretend that this can sometimes happen, too (to other salespeople, right?).

As you are driving back to the office reflecting on your sales call, it dawns on you that you left the call without something that you need. You experience that aching, gnawing feeling in your gut that it is a mistake not to have achieved the outcome that will help you to do your best work. Now that you are five blocks away, your brain suddenly kicks into high gear and you think of the one question that needs answered.

You are embarrassed. It’s only one question. Or maybe it’s just one contact; how much light could she really shed on the issue? You are now faced with a choice.

You can go without what you know you need and put your opportunity at risk. Or, you can take action to make sure that you put all of the pieces you need in place. Your job in sales is do what is necessary to tilt the playing field in your direction, and this means asking for the commitments that you need to win the deal and to succeed, whether those commitments are access to people or access to information.

Instead of going without what you need, pull over to the side of the road, pull your dream client’s business card out of your pocket, and grab your cellular phone. Call your dream client and say: “I just made a mistake. I left your office without having asked you for an appointment with your operations group. To ensure that we do our very best work for you I need to meet with your team to make certain that I understand the implications of the challenges we discussed and how we best serve them. Can I trouble you to schedule appointment for me with that group? Your relationship is important to me, and I really want to make sure we do our best work for you.”

You need a do-over? Ask for the do-over!

If you need information, ask for it. If you need access to people, ask for the access? If you forgot to ask a question, call and ask. If you need feedback on an idea that strikes you between your client’s parking lot and your office, call and get the feedback.

Making corrections is the sign of a true professional. Only amateurs and children hide from mistakes and fear the embarrassment of making corrections. Handled correctly, your transparency will make a statement about the kind of work and the kind of relationship that your dream client can expect from you.

Don’t go without what you need to win your deal and to succeed once you have.


Sometimes you miss achieving the outcomes that you need to advance your opportunity with your dream client. If you need a do-over, ask for a do-over. Don’t go without what you need to win or to succeed.


    1. Pick a random deal from your pipeline. What are you missing? What is the one big, glaring hole in this opportunity? What will help you to win the deal? What do you need to ensure that you succeed if and when you are chosen?

    1. Pick up the phone and call your dream client and ask them for what you need. Tell them why you need it. Tell them how it will help you to help them, and that you want to give them your very best effort and very best solution.

    1. How do you ensure that you have what you need to win? What do you do when you don’t have what you need to win or what you need to succeed?

    1. What risks do you face by proceeding without what you know will tilt the playing field in your direction? Why is it a mistake to go without?

  1. Is it easier to lose the opportunity that you worked so hard to gain, or is it easier to make the call? If you lose, how long will it be before you obtain another opportunity with this dream client? (Just a little nudge . . . alright, a big shove. You’ll thank me later).

For more on increasing your sales effectiveness, subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Sales Blog and my Email Newsletter. Follow me on Twitter, connect to me on LinkedIn, or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your sales organization, check out my coaching and consulting firm, B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, email me, or call me at (614) 212-4279.

Read my interview with Tom Peters (Part One and Part Two).

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Sales 2010
Post by Anthony Iannarino on August 13, 2010
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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