Never Events

In Britain’s National Health Service, this is the name for mistakes that should never happen. (Only the NHS would have a logo for this, by the way.)

There’s been 762 over past four years. Although the risk is very small – 1 in 20,000 patients suffer one –

“these incidents are considered unacceptable and eminently preventable”

There are apparently 25 types.

Look away now if you’re squeamish; this appears to be the most occurring top four types of grave error:

retained foreign object post-op (322 of the 762 incidents)
wrong site surgery (214)
misplaced feeding tubes (73)
wrong plants/prosthesis (58)

Never Events. There is such an obvious Sales mirror here.

Such occurrences on a bid often become the comedy anecdote of legend. Albeit only after a long time lapse. Calling a key prospect the wrong name throughout, unwitting divulgence of a critical secret to their competition, catastrophic dating of the prospect’s offspring.

But away from the comic, everyday sinister aspects lie in wait. What are the events that, when they happen, mean you’ll never win? They can also be seriously career derailing. There’s a long list.

Presenting without commitment, pricing blind, working only with one middle-manager, answering a tender clearly written on another vendor’s terms, participating in a Dutch auction.

Any quality sales process thinking should be incorporating these.

As well as the unmistakable flip-side, Essential Events.

What, when they happen, virtually guarantees that you’ll win?

Engaging their CEO, joint writing of the final Prop, collaborative pricing, combined implementation team workshops, key reference utilised, eternally happy dating of the prospect’s offspring?

Awareness of both type of Events make the difference between world-class Sales and scrambling around, never-quite-getting-there selling endeavours.

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