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The slippery deal.


There may come a time when your deal appears closed.  Either the CEO or your decision maker tells you everything looks good and they are going to sign.  The key words here are “going to.”   I had a six figure deal where everything was buttoned down, everyone agreed to all the terms and the CEO was set to sign it on a Wednesday.  That Wednesday night, our contact, who really was the key decision maker, called my sales rep and said they could not sign the order or at least not that big of an order.   It was December and I’m betting my sales rep had already spent that Christmas money.  And I had already told my management team the order, as quoted, was on its way. 

This is not a lesson on things I should have done or what else I could have said.  Sometimes things just happen.  As it turns out the CEO was planning on making the purchase but realized at the last minute, because of other factors, if he did make our purchase, he would jeopardize his cash flow position which might affect things like payroll. 

First, understand that this is not a good situation for anyone involved.  The CEO did not like pulling out and our contact did not like it because it made him look bad.  There is no point in losing your cool and developing a “but you promised” attitude.  You still have a customer who wants to buy from you. But now you need to take a step back, keep them engaged and work out something that will be good for both parties.  Cool down and relax before responding to this kind of information.  Like most big decisions, it is best to sleep on it.

Sales Homework – Make a plan for yourself or bookmark this lesson just in case this scenario happens to you. At some point in your sales career, it probably will. 

Sales Managers – When this type of situation happens, know that it is not the time to start correcting your sales rep.  They got the deal this far and sometimes tornados just pop out of nowhere.    Read more...


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