The Make it Happen Blog

See All Posts

The Story of How My Emotions Stopped Us From Winning The Deal
By John Barrows | August 5, 2019

I wanted to share a story about what just happened to me. Hopefully you’ll be able to learn from my mistakes. 

I’m pretty sure I lost a decent-sized deal last week because I let my emotions get the best of me. I had been working on this renewal for a client who had invested in my online training portal the previous year. New leadership had recently come in and my Champion needed me to present the value to them to help justify the renewal.

Where it started

I was in the middle of a three week travel-loop going to 9 different cities and didn’t have a ton of time to put together an executive level presentation. But that’s an excuse a client doesn’t care about, nor should they. Needless to say, I carved out time one night in a hotel to put together the presentation. Unfortunately I got them mixed up with another client and instead of checking my notes.

This happens when you’re not taking ample time to do something properly. I went all-in on developing the presentation I thought they wanted and then sent it into my Champion for review. 

The feedback wasn’t great. I missed the mark and developed a presentation focused on the wrong solution. For context, I have two main trainings:

1) Filling the Funnel

2) Driving to Close

I developed my executive presentation around Driving to Close when it was supposed to be for Filling the Funnel. Doh! 

The mistake

So now, with egg on my face, I have to find time to develop a whole new executive presentation to deliver in less than 2 days with training and travel included. The meeting was at 7am on a Wednesday morning since they were in EMEA and they needed to meet that week. 

I trained all day in Chicago, landed in NYC around 11pm, got to the hotel at midnight and then worked on the new presentation until 3am. I sent it over and set my alarm for 6am to get ready to present before training all day. When I woke up I grabbed my phone to scan my e-mails and saw a meeting cancellation with a note from my Champion letting me know the executives had to reschedule last minute. 

I almost lost it.

I actually did for a moment and basically typed this blog post outlining all the effort I had put in and my frustration with the last-minute cancellation. Thankfully I’ve learned not to hit “send” when you’re emotional and I always make sure to delete the name in the “to” field just in case.

However, apparently I couldn’t help myself. I guess it must be the Boston in me but I just had to say something so all I typed in response to his cancellation was “Really?” and I hit ‘send.’ They say you’re not supposed to read tone into text but this one was pretty obvious.

I knew I shouldn’t have sent it but I did. I waited a day and no response so I sent an email asking when they wanted to reschedule and another one a few days later asking if I lost them. Still no response. I lost them and I deserve it. 

Lessons learned

When this sort of thing happens you need to step back and reflect on it. Taking nothing for this situation would be a mistake and could cost in the long-run. Here’s what I took from it:

  1. Don’t ever commit to something you can’t deliver on 100%
  2. Don’t assume anything. Check and then double check your notes
  3. NEVER send a negative e-mail when you’re tired and/or emotional
  4. Don’t take your customers and/or your Champion for granted

Filed Under

Sign up for my weekly newsletter for more blog posts and video sales tips. You'll get actionable sales techniques - no fluff, no spam.