Sales is all about battle scars. Which one cuts the deepest? That one client you will never, ever, ever forget?
For me, it was Plantronics. I had worked SO hard to convince the VP Global Recruiting to take a small bet on us. He had the authority to swipe his card for <$10K purchases, so we did a $9,999 trial for 3 months. Worked my ass off to get him some high quality candidates from his job ads, and also educated their entire executive team on the importance of employment branding.
There was one last meeting with the Global CMO. I prepped so hard for that one. Walked in, delivered an A+ pitch, and got her sold in 45 mins. We were on the way to a $108K renewal on that $9,999 trial. 💥
Only Plantronics, as a MASSIVE global company, requires all paperwork to go through Indonesia or some random country like that for tax purposes. And they will only sign on their own paper (T's and C's), so it took us MONTHS of negotiations between our legal counsel (this in-house guy who was a jackass) to get all the contract stuff sorted. I had to spend many 11-1am nights on the phone in Asia hunting down their lawyer... but finally got us there.
Everything is ready for signature. I get a call from my contact asking if I can come see him. I assume it's for getting everything set up, so I agree and show up excited to FINALLY celebrate this puppy.
When I walk in, he's sitting there with 2 guys I've never met before. And they do not look happy. Uh oh?
He goes "Sahil I have some bad news. We are never doing business with your company again. Your legal counsel cursed out our lawyer, calling him an asshole and a dickwad during the legal process. I'm sorry, because I know you're a good guy and I really enjoyed working with you. But your company has been blacklisted and we will never do business with someone who treats our team this way."
10 years later, I'm still furious. 😡
On the bright side, it got our in house attorney fired when I told the CEO what happened. But I lost $25K because of his unprofessionalism that day, and even worse, lost a relationship with a MASSIVE org that I'd spent years building.