There is a huge gap between an oral commitment made by the customer and the outright sale. Learn the step-by-step instructions to ensure that the deal actually closes
It is very common, in a commercial process, to hear our prospect say: “It’s closed!” But we all know that doesn’t mean the deal is really closed. It’s like those conversations where we say “let’s score something”. Time runs out and we never schedule anything.
Yes, it sounds like a paradox, but there is a huge gap between the prospect making a verbal commitment to you and actually signing a contract to make the payment. To get to the signed contract, there is a series of information and good practices that we need to follow. And that’s what we’ll talk about now: agency sales checklist.
In the next few lines, Sky Marketing will recommend you some steps you should take to be increasingly sure that the prospect is really moving forward within your business process and that he’s not just stalling you while negotiating with another agency (this is more common than you might think, believe it).
Make clear all the problems, challenges and objectives mapped out at the briefing meeting
Okay, this may sound repetitive, but it isn’t. You can run into a number of problems if you don’t have all these factors mapped out very well when closing with the end customer.
Assuming that to close a deal the customer needs to effectively sign a contract and make payment, it is very likely that some sort of objection will arise in the middle of this process. And if, by the time it comes up, you’re not prepared, I’m sorry: the negotiation fell through at 45 of the second half.
Common objections that often appear at closing time, when the prospect sees the investment numbers, and that you are likely to face are:
- “I think my problem is not as big as it seems, I can wait a little longer to hire your service”;
- “An unforeseen event has happened, I need a few more days to hit the hammer”;
- “There is an agency that does the same work as you, but for a lower price.”
Now tell me, how do you get around these objections if your prospect is unclear about the project’s purpose? If with this information your work to get around the questions is already hard work, imagine without them. Below I will show you a practical example to make it clearer.
How does this apply
— Hello João, how are you? This is Matheus from Agency X. I’m calling you so we can hammer out that proposal we talked about at the last meeting. You told me that everything was ok and that you had no doubts either. We can continue the process, right?
— Everything great and with you, Matheus? So, man, that’s right, you’re absolutely right. But unfortunately, we’re going to have to postpone this process a bit, at least for a few days or even weeks.
— Really, John? But tell me what happened, I want to know how I can help you with this question.
— Well… As you know, we are a little tight with money and at the moment I think the investment is a little high, making the project unfeasible. But I have already talked internally with my finance company and we are going to prepare for the investment in the very near future.
— Ah yes, I really understand your position, João, and in these times of crisis, all our actions must be very careful. But do you remember that at our first meeting, we talked about…
Note that João knows that there is a pain that needs to be resolved and that he needs to make the investment, but he is using the argument of lack of budget to not start the project immediately.
It’s a pretty common objection at closing time. That’s because, probably, when consulting other people in the company, especially the finance one, who doesn’t usually participate in the sales process, objections arose that could prevent our negotiation from moving forward.
If at the moment of the briefing, we are not able to tie the problems, challenges and objectives very well to our solution, it is very difficult to make an objection.
Go for me, don’t move a prospect into the closing phase if you don’t have all of this mapped out. Don’t push the process with your belly, spend more time at the beginning so that at the end you don’t have an unexpected surprise.
You can be sure she will come, so always be prepared.
Set a deadline for the proposal
Just as every football match has a beginning and an end, every proposal presented to a potential client must have an expiration date.
But why is this important?
If your agency already has clear goals and processes like the developers of Blue World City, this is a great reason for you to set deadlines for your proposal, as we all know that at the end of the month, we have a quota to reach. So analyze the proposals sent to your potential client very carefully, always aligning with them the dates prior to the last day of the month.
Another crucial point is the deadline. It’s important to establish a sense of urgency so that he doesn’t stretch his sales cycle too long and that long story never ends.
Have you ever thought if a football game had a time to start but not a set time to end? When it comes to closing, the thinking must be the same. Don’t make your prospect so relaxed that it’s up to him to decide the closing date.
Give it a deadline, don’t take it too easy.