"You learn more from your losses, than from your gains.” – Paul Tudor Jones
Even the best sales professional will occasionally lose a sale. There are a million reasons a prospect may decide to drop a project or go with a different vendor – it happens to all of us. So, what do you do in a case like this? Ask them (in a respectful way) why they decided not to use your product or service. Here’s an example of how you might approach the situation:
Send them an email or give them a phone call saying something like, “We always strive to improve our product delivery. I was genuinely surprised that we didn’t get picked for this process. I would love to know why you didn’t choose our <<<Product or Service>>>, because it will inform how we go to market in the future. It would be a great personal favor to me if you would take 10 minutes of your time just to share with me what your thoughts were. I assure you that I am not going to contest your decision or try to convince you to change your mind. I would just like to learn from this experience so we might better serve you and others in the future.”
In my experience, if you ask them in a respectful way, they’ll give you an honest answer. You might learn that there was a genuine misunderstanding between you and your prospect. Perhaps you even messed up somewhere in the process without realizing it. Perhaps they found some inconsistencies in your proposal that you weren’t aware of. Whatever the reason may be, take it to heart, learn from it, and let it inform the way you approach the next prospect.