The constant complaint of the sales manager: why hasn't that deal closed yet? A million excuses get surfaced, but there are four (and only four) REASONS that your deal hasn't yet closed, according to John Asher, CEO of Asher Training. Here are those four reasons -- and my personal suggestions on what to do get that deal back on track:
- Reason #1: Unfamiliarity. It generally takes more than one (and often several) meetings before a customer will feel comfortable working with a sales professional and the professional's firm. Fix: Get in front of the customer! If you can't afford to travel to see everyone you need to see, try using web conferencing or other online tools.
- Reason #2: Bureaucracy. Many organizations have a complex decision-making process that involves more than one buyer. Often even the CEO wants consensus with other executives before a major purchase. Fix: Interview your customer contacts to discover that actual decision-making process. Then devise a plan to influence the process.
- Reason #3: Competition. It might first be necessary to unseat a competitor before the sales takes place. That can take time, especially if the competitor is internal to the customer, as when you're selling outsourcing. Fix: Discover the competitive landscape and who has the inside track. Build a campaign that specifically addresses the competitor's weaknesses.
- Reason #4: Priorities. As important as the sale is to you, it may not be all that important to the customer. People can only focus on a few things at once and your offering may not yet be at the top of the stack. Fix: Revisit your customer contacts and build a stronger financial case. Get the customer to agree on how much it will cost them if they don't buy now.