Sell For Lifetime Value

Let’s say you are calling on a customer that spends $250,000 on whatever it is that you sell. For you and your company, that’s not a huge deal, and it isn’t a small deal either. It’s just slightly larger than your average deal with a customer. So you treat this $250,000 deal like it is no big deal.

But what if you looked at the deal through another lens? What if you viewed this $250,000 prospect based on the lifetime value of that customer? What if you looked at the value based on their spend and your retention rate?

If you keep your clients for an average of 7 years, the deal you are competing for is really $1,750,000. Would you treat a $1,750,000 deal differently than a $250,000 deal?

  • Preparation: You prepare differently for big deals than you do for small deals. You read more about your prospect. You study more. You put together agendas. You prepare your questions, your answers to the questions you expect to receive, and you prepare collateral material to support your efforts. You show up with the intention of winning.
  • Time Invested: You invest more time with prospects who spend more in your category. You invest more time in discovery, more time meeting with stakeholders to build consensus, and more time internally building the right solution. You look at the time as an investment, because you know it is what it will take to win a deal.
  • Effort: You try a lot harder to win big deals, don’t you? You work to do everything in your power to win. You engage more people inside your company, and you ensure that your management and leadership teams are involved, so that they feel some ownership of the deal. You work harder to get your dream client exactly what they need.

The deals that you are selling now are bigger than you believe. The opportunities that you are working right now are worth 5, 7, or 10 times as much as what the deal is worth over the course of the first year. By looking only at a client’s potential first year’s revenue, you aren’t selling as well as you might be were you to take a longer view of what that customer is worth to you.

By thinking longer term, your $1,000,000 deal might really be worth $10,000,000. How differently will you treat that deal?

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Filed under: Competition, Sales

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