The sales process, depending on what you sell, can be very long and involve a lot of calls, meetings and strategy to get you to where you want to be with your client, the contract stage. When all is said and done, the one thing that needs to be said by the client for anything to happen is, “send me the contract.” Successful businessman Issa Asad says this can be one of the most elating things a business professional can possibly hear but before you go out and buy that new car you’ve had your eye on, the contract needs a qualified signature from your client before you go about figuring out what to spend your money on. The deal is not done when they ask for the contract. In fact, it just might be the beginning.
Crucial Conversations To Have With Clients
Too many times, even the best of us have decided the deal is closed and the client is won when we hear those golden words. It is fantastic when the needed paperwork and signed contract comes back right away into your email or across your fax. The worst thing to hear is nothing. How many times have you delightedly sent out your contract to a new customer only to sweat the hours and even days to not hear a peep?
It is best not to ignore those silent signals that let you know that something is not right. It would be easy to rationalize in your mind why it just hasn’t come back yet, but what you really need to do is meet the silence head on. Be the one to make the phone call and ask, “Is something wrong?” Asking the question invites dialog. You may discover that they were expecting a lower price. Get the client to tell you why the deal has stalled. This may be a hard conversation that could mean you are not going to get to the right number. The reality is that there will never be a right number if you don’t ask the first question. Seek to understand the problem quickly, not a week later when the client has resolved to move on.
When The Client Offers You Something In Return For A Lower Price
Stop right there. I know, you really want to and they said they’d sign if you just do what they say. They are not holding all the cards though, you are. Doing bad business that doesn’t make you or your company money for the sake of a promise of more business the future is going to get you nothing. Offer to give them a better rate on services or products forthcoming when they do bring you more business, other clients or additional decision makers in their organization. One of the hardest things you will have to realize is that no one is going to make good on any promise when they have already received their reward. The ball is in your court not theirs.
Proactive conversations win deals. Fearful avoidance does not.