Chapter 1

Thinking and Acting Strategically

A darkened plane at 35,000 feet—a late-night flight home from a tough client meeting—is a great place to reflect. And on this flight, there is a lot to reflect on. A deal had been lost. This opportunity had seemed a sure thing, a sure thing that was now dead. Why? A mental post-mortem of any sales opportunity is—or ought to be—inevitable, especially for an opportunity that slid inexplicably from the “won” to the “lost” column. Questions of what could have been will haunt your thoughts. What was missed? Was the pricing model off? Did a key influencer get overlooked? Was my competitor’s solution really better than mine? Ultimately, salespeople on the losing side are desperate to know why their opportunity ...

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