There’s nothing like a looming sales quota to bring out some unwanted behaviors in sellers. If you’ve got a quota hanging over your head, it’s tempting to push your prospects across the finish line. Before you take that step, make sure you’ve earned the right to close as Frank Visgatis outlined for salesandmarketing.com.
Selling in the B2B environment is a process. If you handle the relationship with a prospect properly, she’ll turn into a long-term client. Instead of rushing the prospect to make a decision because you want to reach your goal by the end of the month, step back. Think about whether you’ve covered all the questions and concerns she’s likely to have. In a time-sensitive situation, pay attention to the following details.
The prospect has been listening to your pitches because she believes you might be able to address some of her pain points. Have you taken the time to understand completely what she’s having trouble with? If she needs a way to reduce operating costs in the long term, how will your service deliver that benefit? Can you quantify the benefit exactly? If possible, show the prospect, with charts and graphs, how much she’ll save by signing with you. And in a time-sensitive situation, you might also convince her to buy if you can show her how much it’s costing her not to sign with you.
Your prospect already has a system in place to deal with the problem you’re trying to help her solve. The system may not be working well, but putting a new system in place will generate its own set of costs and frustrations. Show your prospect you’re one step ahead of the typical sales rep. Explain how other clients have managed these conversions. Be upfront about the types of problems other clients have encountered and how you helped to solve them. Revealing this information will build credibility.
It’s no secret that being desperate puts you in a vulnerable situation. If your prospect senses that you absolutely positively must have a signed contract from her, she might go for it – as long as you’re willing to offer a discount or concession. Be aware that once you cross this line, the prospect might always expect some type of deal from you.
Being under time pressure to make your numbers is never an enviable situation. At the start of the next quota cycle, plan ahead and manage your time carefully to avoid allowing the prospect to gain the upper hand.