For many of our clients and us, December signals the homestretch of the fiscal year. How time flies! The time is now to deliver your commitments to the business and to overachieve your quotas. With all of the great momentum you’ve gotten, the last thing you expect to hear is that the client is not moving forward with the engagement — the dreaded “NO decision.” It’s not that the client wasn’t intrigued by your proposal; it’s just that they aren’t ready to move forward.How did this happen? Why didn’t you see this coming? Most importantly, what can you do to prevent this in the future? Here are three things to add to your checklist that help to avoid a “no decision.”
1. Understand your client’s total investment — not just what you’re asking them to spend with you. While it’s easy to focus on the price tag of the deal, don’t lose sight of all the costs associated with it. Your client’s man-hours carry an internal cost. So, do their support model, infrastructure and license costs, and training. Have you and the client accounted for all the costs? Leave one out, and an unforeseen cost can halt the project.
2. What are the competing investments? I have yet to find a client with a never-ending supply of funds. How well do you understand how those funds are allocated? A critical step in the budgeting process is to prioritize all the projects and determine which are above and below the line. What criteria must a project meet to receive funding? Sometimes a “no decision” is simply because there was a project that was more important than yours.
3.How will your engagement deliver business value? How much value will it deliver? Have you jointly agreed on the business outcomes of the project? Sure, it will drive out costs. How much? Yes, it will drive revenue growth, too. How? Ensuring that you and the stakeholders are aligned on the “how” and the “how much” of the project will prevent any confusion when it comes time to finalize the decision.
Incorporate these items into your deal-planning checklist, and you’ll be one step closer to closing the deal while minimizing the surprises along the way. Good luck and good selling!
Interested in learning more about selling more effectively? Check out this webinar, which shows how to use business insights to drive credibility and sales.