It has oft been thought that the science of selling is in the process. This mantra is precisely what failed the protagonist of the Mediquip case. As with any scientific method, success revolves around a defined process that, when correctly executed, achieves an optimal result. Kurt Thaldorf failed to formulate and follow the correct selling process and resulted in a loss of sale. The following examines Kurt’s failure and attempts to identify changes in his processes that more likely than not, could have contributed to sale success.
Sale Starts Before Ever Meeting the Customer Kurt failed to conduct the proper due diligence before he contacted Lohmann University Hospital. This was his first oversight. He received notice of the customer’s interest in his product and had adequate time to procure facts about the customer that would have confirmed the hierarchy within the hospital responsible for buying Mediquip’s CT scanner. Kurt was not overtly apathetic in his performance, though it did not appear that he was intrinsically motivated. He relied on the records of past sales to the customer, and when he found none, proceeded first to the employee at the hospital (Professor Steinborn) who had first inquired about his product, without ever confirming the employee’s role in the decision-making process. Kurt failed to identify all members of the DMU either before, or during, his first interview. A result of Kurt’s oversight, communication within the customer organization was inaccurate and created a power struggle between the three parties responsible for making the purchase decision. Kurt’s failure to engage and analyze the true DMU resulted in his reliance on secondary information gleaned from interaction with secretaries (gatekeepers) – which likely was neither accurate, nor trustworthy and his own assumptions. This was evidenced in his records, when he left meetings believing he had made a positive