Who is in control of your sales process?
Is it you or your prospect? Why does it matter so long as you get the close?
The answer to the last question is the
most important and drives the answers to the other two. Absolutely, it matters who
is in control even if you get the close, because it will set the stage for all
remaining deals to come. And, if the prospect or customer is in control, well
then you are not and that is a big problem.
Who chooses the delivery dates for your
products or services? Who sets the price? Who chooses the payment terms? I must
implore you to remain in control of your sales process. Certainly, there are
negotiating factors that come into play, such as discounts on shorter payment
terms, but those discounts must be offered by you and not just given to the
prospect or customer upon request. 10NET30 may not be a setting in your
accounting system, so how will you account for this discount if you cave and
give it to the customer? What if the prospect is putting a lot of pressure on
you to start the project next week and you say yes? Doesn’t do you any good if
your project team is already booked out for the next two weeks. You gave in and
said yes to a request that you had no control over and now you must either
convince your team to make an accommodation in their schedule or you need to
ask the customer for forgiveness in that you cannot actually start their project
for two weeks.
Being in control of your sales process
does not mean you need to be hard-nosed throughout the entire engagement. Nor
does it give you license to be a cocky jerk with a “my way or no way” attitude.
Being in control simply means being transparent. Your price is your price. Your
terms are your terms. You can start their project as soon as your team has
availability in their calendar. Your customer will buy from you if they believe
you are the best fit and will appreciate the honesty and transparency of your
Being in control also means that you are
in control from day one. There is no reason to work through the sales process
in shadows up until the closing process only then to become transparent with
your prospect or customer. In other words, be as open, honest, and transparent
on the first day or the sales process as you would be asking for the signature