Receiving an email that stated “Please find attached agreement requiring your signature” was the highlight of my week earlier in the month. When you receive a similar message you know that you have met your goal.
Before that happy moment arrives, you may be faced with a last step that you didn’t see coming. This step above all of your previous steps of success in the buying cycle requires patience, a key ‘closing secret’ that every professional sales person should be prepared for.
One thing that keeps a sales professional charged and recharged is the adrenaline rush of opening up a new piece of business. This not only protects your future and your organization but it heals the bumps and bruises that you have received along the path of the buying cycle. These bumps and bruises may stem from the customer and can also come from within as you are pressed to meet ‘your number’. Sound familiar?
The closing secret before the actual dotted line is signed is patience. Just before the ‘big decision’ is made, your decision maker (purchasing manager, claims manager, QA Manger, etc.) regardless of their given industry is at their most vulnerable point. Their antenna is up and they may test you one more time before they place their final approval.
You may ask ‘why’, you have meet and exceeded their expectations. Your question is fair and reasonable. Let’s take a look at their decision dynamics.
A Real Example
Out of the blue, I received an email from a key prospect that we have been working with since July 2012. We have tested, presented, met, they have visited our office, etc. in fact they have more of my business cards than I do. Their ‘last minute’ request was to ask if we could customize training into smaller sections and write the content that would address the issues in three separate departments. My first thought was really? Are you kidding me? I have answered that, and demonstrated that capability on many occasions.
Patience is a virtue, or so they say.
None the less my answer was “sure”, and they requested one final demonstration to address their full buying committee in less than 48 hours. My first thought was has the incumbent flanked me, or perhaps is there a decision maker that I had not met, or unaware of? All legitimate questions, but no changes that surfaced. The delay came from one decision maker that simply wanted to be reassured before they cast their vote.
Rather than press the issue, it was time to demonstrate patience and stay the course.
At the end of our final demonstration we discovered that the delay came from one decision maker that felt vulnerable and simply wanted to be reassured before they cast their vote.
This was a great experience that served as a great reminder. At the end of a buying cycle and just before the decision is made your prospects are at their most vulnerable point. Asking for additional information or unusual requests is a strong buying signal. This may be test or it may be a legitimate request. It doesn’t matter; your patience is required.
There are 3 ‘take a ways’ to 1 closing secret that every sales professional that I would like to pass along to you:
The next morning, we received an email from the committee chair person stating “Please find the attached agreement for your signature”.
Ah, sweet success! Our patience paid off using the above three steps and it will for you as well.
Have you had a similar experience? Share it in the comments below.