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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

Once in a while I loose a sale. Grant it, I don’t usually loose them but when it does happen I can’t help but get depressed about it before I shake it off and move on. When it does happen, and I am able to see the positive side to the loss, then it’s that much easier.

A while back I met with a company called Grupo Multifood. They have several restaurant/café’s that are located in various shopping malls like Paseo Alcorta and Patio Bullrich for example. At that moment we did not have a lot of business with bulk cookies for the coffee set. We had to develop a cantucci that was economical, that would not break but wouldn’t break people’s teeth as well, and that had to be delicious. I had several meetings with them and I delivered lots of samples.

They currently had someone making cantucci for them so I was really trying to get them to change suppliers. This time it did not work. After all the samples were sent and all the meetings that I went to, I came up empty handed.

So what is the silver lining to this story? I was now ready to approach The Coffee Store. Now I had a product already developed and ready to go. This was such a natural fit for The Coffee Store. They were also a much bigger client in terms of number of stores. They also had the same supplier as Grupo Multifood. Luckily for me, The Coffee Store happened to like my product more than the one they were currently handling. Normally it´s just not one reason why someone decides to change suppliers. This time around it was just a better fit for them for various reasons. They also happened to like that with one supplier they can have multiple products like Cookies, Cantucci, Biscotti, and some other new products that I can’t quite mention yet.

In the end, I am not sure why I failed to persuade Grupo Multifood from switching over. But I am sure glad they made me run around and develop a new product that was perfect for the market-at least I think it is and The Coffee Store thinks so as well. All that work I had put into the lost opportunity really made things so much easier for the second opportunity that came my way. Anyone for some lemonade?

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