After being in business for thirty years I've learned a thing or two:
· The client may not always be right but they are always the client. You decide how and if you want to retain them or if you are comfortable letting them go.
· You're only as good as your last project. Clients can adore you and well, then they don't.
· No one has a 100% closing rate. (If you do we need to talk!)
· Regardless of how good you are there will always be clients that will never be satisfied.
· A failure never feels good and can undermine your confidence for a time.
· You must have a thick skin.
Over the years I've had my share of stupendous successes and also my fair percentage of things that didn't go as I had planned.
Being told by a prospect that you didn't win the assignment or by a client that says they no longer need your service is never a good thing. But it happens and when it does you must find out why and uncover what you could have done differently to get a different (better) outcome. The sales and marketing intelligence gained by asking these questions can be incredibly valuable; knowing what you did wrong can help protect you from doing the same thing in the future.
Make it easy for the person to be honest when you do your probing. Ask questions that will allow the individual to be forthcoming and specific about what caused them to make their decision to work with someone else.
If there is still a chance that you can work with them attempt to re-sell and make certain that you address their concerns. The cliché "it ain't over till it's over" holds true.
Don't take it personally. After all, your sales pipeline is filled with other prospects (isn't it?!).
You can't win them all but if you learn from your fails you'll be able to win more.