If you’re like most MSPs, you have customers who have decided to buy, but haven’t yet placed the order. You may be running a special and customers just aren’t responding like you think they should.
It’s likely that your boss keeps asking you about the deal status. You don’t want to keep “bugging” your customer, but you also want to close the deal.
Read on to learn four ways close deals on your sales forecast.
1) Increase the Priority
There’s a difference between a decision and a commitment, and that’s priority. Customers haven’t pulled the trigger on the deal because it’s not a priority. Your job is to change that.
Look for ways to naturally increase the priority by connecting your project to your customer’s key project, showing that you can help them be a hero when then decide to work with you.
The alternative is to offer deal sweeteners. This is anything other than a direct dollar discount. It could be an additional seat in a training event, the first three months of consumable printing supplies, or priority access to your best people.
2) Is Your Forecast Accurate?
When I coach sales teams to improve their performance and efficiency, I frequently see forecast deals that shouldn’t be there. Just because a customer has indicated interest doesn’t mean it should be on the forecast.
Remember: no deadline, no deal. Unless the customer has a budget that meets the purchase requirements and a deadline to begin, it’s not a deal, it’s a wish.
There are two types of deadlines: internal and external. An internal deadline is one where if the project isn’t done on time, someone will suffer consequences. An external deadline is one that we apply to them: “If you buy before the end of the month, I’ll give you a three percent discount.” External deadlines frequently mean forgoing margin. Better to uncover and use internal deadlines.
Uncover your customer’s deadline with questions like:
• “When do your people need to be trained?”
• “What’s your deadline for getting this in place?”
• “When does this need to be ready to go?”
Now you can accurately update your forecast and focus on the real deals, and let marketing stay in contact with longer-term prospects.
3) What’s Holding Back the Order?
Often, a deal is dependent on another event. For example: in technology, equipment may need be decommissioned to free up power and cooling before a new units can be purchased and installed. Or a decision maker feels that they need to complete a VoiP deployment before looking at moving more services to the cloud.
Explore how you can speed the deal with these questions:
• “What must happen before you can place this order?”
• “Is there something that needs to happen other than someone’s approval to launch this?”
• “Can I take care of that for you?”
It may be well worth it to include additional services to complete the stalled projects that are holding back your deal.
4) What’s it Cost to Wait?
Sometimes your customers don’t know how much money they’re wasting by waiting to buy. Clearly illustrate the value of moving forward now instead of later. Avoid this by making the time value of their purchase part of your sales discussion with every prospect.
Ask time value questions like these:
• “What would it be worth for you to move forward?”
• “What will it cost if you wait?”
• “What’s your unnecessary risk if you continue as you are now?”
• “What are you spending that is a preventable waste?”
This week, bust loose a deal!