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The Laszlo Top 10 List

Reasons why vendors/service providers don't make the sale

LoserCompanies that serve the biopharma industry exist in a highly competitive environment. Whether the competition is another vendor, an internal solution or the buyer's ultimate decision to do nothing, vendors must be cognizant of the factors that may work against them when selling themselves and their solutions.

Having worked as both a buyer and a seller in our industry, here are my Top 10 reasons (in descending order of importance) why vendors fail to make the sale:

10. Prior unacceptable performance and/or the perceived bad reputation of your company has eliminated you as a viable partner;

9. You have seriously misread the customer's requirements and the ability of your solution to meet them;

8. The total cost (i.e. total cost of ownership) of the solution is greater than its perceived value by the client;

7. The competition has greater clout, recognition (i.e. older, larger, diverse) and leverage than your company (i.e. newer, smaller, focused);

6. Your customer-facing staff have little or inadequate understanding of the clients business and working environment;

5. The solution does not meet 80% of customer requirements out-of-the-box;

4. The references provided and/or the market share data provided are deemed to be inadequate by the client;

3. The client has failed to properly scope the project or set the selection criteria;

2. You have failed to understand, consider and/or communicate the unique circumstances of the client;

1. You have failed to build a consultative and trusting relationship with the client.

What is striking about this list, is that very few of the reasons are based on the technical inadequacy of the product or service. Human factors always rise to the top.

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