You have prepared the file, kept all your documents in place, looking your professional best, the day is sunny and the feeling is upbeat. The meeting starts and despite every efforts buyer ranks you second to your competitor. To maintain courtesy you got an offer to discuss with a representative from the group to whom you and your associates presented and believe me such calls can be frustrating where you know that they have already made the decision and the buyers would seem extremely reluctant to wager off any information. So what to do next?

Revert to Check the factors for Deal Breakers

Priority questions asked can actually help you probe the situation and correct some of the mistakes done earlier:

1.   Why other firms got eliminated in the final round?

Asking such question would give you an insight on the disqualifying factors as well as why you might have lost. It happens that in some areas you are good enough to be a finalist but not too enough to win.

2.   How were you put in the finalist round?

Sometime’s knowing why you were preferred over other companies can also give an insight into why other company was completely chosen over your’s.

3.   What factors were draw between you and the winning company?

Often the decision makers would announce “All things being equal we would like to go ahead with ABC company because” and that person would list one or two things down. Considering everything else, as equal you can deduce what really made the difference.

4.   Is there any prior relation of buyer with the winning company?

An internal perspective if there is any inside advocate or existing relationship that helped the winning team.

5.   Were there any parts of proposal that were confusing?

You may have to push the question in details but it shall be worth it. You need to know where exactly the point got missed so that you do not repeat the mistakes further.

I have not come to the point of asking “Why did they win?” and “Why did we lose?” you can certainly ask those questions but I recommend waiting till asking these questions above to be ready for your next deal.