Gary D's Take

“They Didn’t Win-We Lost.”

“They Didn’t Win-We Lost.”

Nov 10, 2012

Dwight Eisenhower ~ “No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.”

 

I was involved in a bid process a few years ago. It was my first big one. The similarities to a services bid and an election are many. In the end , we lost the bid. Why…..not because the customer was stupid? A lot of my colleagues felt that was the case…. NO we failed to make a compelling case. One of my colleagues felt that the customer was biased toward the incumbent….and he was right…..and we knew this going in. We failed to make a dramatically compelling case for dumping the incumbent and going with us. Sound familiar? Did we have the best product…absolutely…..did we FAIL to explain that to the customer in terms that were meaningful to him..ABSOLUTELY!

I went on to win several more bids in my career with that company. As a matter of fact, I never lost again. I learned a lot from doing all those bids but I learned a whole lot more from losing that first one….vastly more.

Is there a lesson to be learned from the election for Mitt Romney and the Republicans? Without a doubt there is but the bigger lesson is really for the whole country..the rest of us. The Romney campaign failed to make a compelling case and to explain that case in terms that were meaningful to the majority of the people. Regardless of the relative merits of the product itself, if you can’t explain to the customer why they need it and make a compelling case for them buying it in terms that are meaningful to them…you will lose! In a court of law who wins? The side that is right? NO…the winner is the one that makes the most compelling case.

Gene Chizik of Auburn is in danger of losing his job…not because he did something illegal or immoral but because he LOST. In sales , the ones who figure out how to win reap the spoils , the ones who don’t go to the back of the unemployment line. Which one would you hire? Gene Chizik or Nick Saban? Would you hire the salesman who consistently outperforms everyone else or the one who doesn’t? Me personally…I want the winner. If you can’t figure out how to win , chances are there will be some other things you won’t be able to figure out down the road.

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