Inevitably, some of your deals are going to push. Blame it on the non-linearity of the sales process in practice (as opposed to the theoretical sales process that moves smoothly from target to execution without so much as a pause or a backward step). Place the blame where you like, here is how I know your deal is going to push.
It’s Not the Client’s Date: Here it is in the very first spot. Your client did not provide you with a date by which they would like to begin executing your solution. You chose the date, or more accurately, entered some random sequence of numbers into your CRM. If I were to call your client now and tell them you intend to show up with a contract next Tuesday, as per your entry, would they be surprised? Would you be concerned about me making that call? Where there is no commitment to a start date, your deal is going to push.
No Commitment to Change: If there is one of the ten commitments in The Lost Art of Closing (my second book), it is the Commitment to Change. You can have a whole bunch of meetings that feel just like the meetings you would have if you were pursuing a deal with-out there being a deal. People will have a meeting with you, explore change, and review your proposal and pricing without ever having made the commitment to change. If you haven’t asked them if they are committed to changing, your deal is going to push (or more likely, it will die).
A Pattern of Unkept Commitments: If you want to know if your client intends to keep their commitments, look at their track record. Have they kept all of the commitments that they have made up until this point? Or have they made commitments without keeping them and instead caused you to give chase over voicemail and email? If they haven’t kept commitments up until now, why would they start with the Commitment to Decide?
You Don’t Know Who Is Deciding: If you don’t know who is actually making the decision, then your deal is extremely likely to push. If your contact is going to present to their leadership team on your behalf, a leadership team that has never met you, look for the push. If you don’t know who can say yes, it’s a push.
You Missed Commitments: There are 10 commitments you need in a sale, especially a B2B sale. You can find them all here, and if you want a deeper dive, you can pick up the book at www.thelostartofclosing.com. For example, if you skipped building consensus or resolving concerns, you left major openings for bad things to happen, the kind of things that end in a deal being pushed.
There are so many factors outside of your control that could cause your deal to push, you need to make sure that you do everything that is in your control to ensure that it doesn’t.
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