We once had a prospect that was around
70% through his buying cycle when he had a catastrophe.
One of his software developers had sabotaged their software and then
quit. He told our rep everything
would have to be put on hold. It
was a tough situation for our prospect because it was affecting his
customers. While it seemed
like the deal was in jeopardy, it really presented us with the opportunity
to do good for him…and good for us.
We decided to give him our software with really good terms.
He was already under financial pressure from having consultants on
site trying to clear up the mess with his application and the generous terms
seemed like it would ease his pain.
He could get good will from his customers and we would still make the
sale…and a friend.
This is one of the most artful calls you will make in sales.
You have to be helpful and empathetic, appear not to be self-serving
and get the deal done. Here’s
“Hi Ted, I’m calling to see how you are doing after that horrible
incident with your developer.”
Pause here and let them tell you the story.
Ask a few sincere questions, and listen.
Do not interrupt.
At the appropriate time say, “I was thinking about your situation and I had
an idea. At this point, wouldn’t
it be great if you could offer something to your customers and not have it
hit your wallet right away?” Ted
confirms that would be great.
“First, let me say Ted this is not totally unselfish on our part.” (This is
statement is crucial because you
bring up the elephant in the room which is, what’s in it for you Louie?
You continue; “We want you as a customer but we really want you as a
Let’s go ahead and sign you up for our software.
You can then let your customers use
it and enjoy its benefits so they are not thinking about how upset they are.
You don’t pay us anything for 90 days while you work everything else
out. You have enough to deal
– Be prepared for this type of situation.
List three ways a prospect could buy your product even if a
catastrophe strikes them. Terms
are not the only way.
– This is an exercise in creativity.
Collect the responses above and put them in the “backup plan” file.