We lost sales in the mid 1990s to a competitor because they promised a bill payment solution to newsagents. Their pitch was that they had built a multi million dollar data centre for processing bill payment direct from within their software. While we said we did not expect it to come off, we were naive in not challenging their claim harder. They won some good business on the back of the strategy. Their pitch, as recounted to me, was that newsagents could make more money on transactions through them. For a year they surged ahead. It never eventuated. From what I can tell the project was never anything more than a sales pitch. I was reminded of it this week when a newsagent made the switch to us. We had a laugh about how the multi million dollar that data centre was going to make newsagents rich only made the competitor rich.
Every claim made by sales people to get you to buy their system ought to be documented. Promises about future projects ought to have a value which is refunded if their pitch does not eventuate.