A few months back, we got an intro to a company in Europe who was interested in our chocs, but for a white label application.
Ie - we supply the product but it would be on the shelves under their brand, rather than ours
Whilst not in our original plan as we hope to build Bite Society into a brand folks love, the potential size of the project seemed worth to explore (our new contact had mentioned 1000's of shelves, which is orders of magnitude more than we have now...)
After sending samples to them, explaining our unique aspects in the choc market, follow up calls on pricing etc, the trail went cold and we lost contact for a while. When we finally managed to reconnect and asked what happened, we were told they went for another option.
We asked which chocolate they went with, so we could learn and improve, but were shocked to find out they went with a totally unrelated category - an energy drink 🙄
Turns out their customer had a long term contract for retail shelf space to a large service station chain, and they were checking various different product options for it... we don't know if they were really that interested in us or was just kicking lots of tyres.
But if we had known the actual scenario that we could have adjusted our message and maybe increased our chances ..
So, a lost deal, but good lesson learned:
...try to learn much as possible about customer needs up front and don't assume - every project is different!