Want to know one of the smartest things you can do to win more sales? Try to figure out what might go wrong before a meeting. Rather than waiting until the game’s over to find out why you’ve lost, think about what could go wrong way ahead of time—when you can still make a difference.

When I think about the business I’ve lost over the past years, three main themes come to mind:

    • I overlooked some critical piece of information.
    • I wasn’t working with the right decision makers.
    • My prospect decided it was easier to stay with the status quo than make a change.

Knowing that these are my main areas of concern gives me the ability to think about them before I meet with my prospects. If I feel that I’m missing some vital info, I’ll stop and ask about it before I rush blindly forward with my pitch. If I’m concerned about my relationship with the entire decision team, I’ll focus on solving that before I make a big mistake. And I’ll continually check with my prospects to gauge their feelings regarding the case that I’ve made for my solution.

Losing sales I could have won makes me sad. That’s why examining what could possibly go wrong, before it goes wrong, helps me to win more sales. And that makes me very happy.

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling, Selling to Big Companies and Agile Selling. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.