In a recent blog post, our CEO, Mike Faherty, wrote about the ten most important things to do when closing a deal. Now we feel it's important to get more perspective on the other side.
In this blog, we will look at how to resolve the nine most important things not to do when closing the deal. Even the most seasoned salesperson or sales manager needs to be refreshed on this part of the sales process to assess blind spots or bad habits that could be holding back your sales organization.
1. Don’t negotiate against yourself
What does it look like to negotiate against yourself? It’s not being confident in the value that your solution can bring to the prospect and then underpricing the solution during conversations with the prospect.
This is usually the result of a salesperson not completing the important discovery process to understand the financial impact of your solution. The salesperson has it in their mind to sell the solution for $10,000, but the words come out as $9,000. Psychologically, they are not committed to selling the solution or not confident that the solution will add value to the prospect.
How to Resolve: Complete the discovery process to be confident in the value of your solution to the prospect.
2. Don’t sell where you’re not adding value
If you determine during the discovery process that your solution is not going to make an impact on the business, then it’s okay to walk away from the deal.
One of the worst things you can do as a salesperson is creating long-term losses pursuing a short-sighted deal. If your solution will not add value, then it could damage your credibility as a salesperson and the reputation of your company.
How to Resolve: Be confident enough to walk away from a deal if you determine it’s not in your best interest to pursue.
3. Don’t make assumptions
Salespeople often fall into the trap of assuming they understand how the business works, what the budget is, or what the organization’s actual pain point is. Making an assumption about one of those key elements presents a real risk of losing the deal.
- Don’t assume what you think the impact of your solution will be.
- Don’t assume you understand the decision-making process.
- Don’t assume there are budget limitations that may or may not actually be there.
How to Resolve: Be clear and honest when asking questions during the discovery phase. This ties in with being confident about your solution and not being afraid to have difficult conversations about money, authority, or how decisions are made.
4. Don’t start small; start the right-size
Another key aspect of the discovery process is understanding what the right-size deal is when negotiating with a prospect.
Salespeople often make the mistake of trying to start with a small deal to get their foot in the door or get the prospect interested in more deals, then try to grow from there. That is not a successful long-term approach.
How to Resolve: Don’t start short-term and small. Start with the right-size deal that is the result of researching the prospect, understanding their business, and determining whether your solution will add value to the business.
5. Don’t be greedy; be fair
On the other end of the spectrum, do not oversell because you believe the prospect has a large budget and can implement a larger solution.
If the prospect believes you are over-reaching or being greedy with your pricing, you risk losing the deal and damaging your credibility.
How to Resolve: Don’t start too large. Again, do your research during the discovery phase to determine the right-size deal.
6. Don’t leave users out of the process
A great salesperson understands how all players will be affected by the decision to implement your solution.
Specific to a complicated, enterprise level sale, deals often fall apart when management is on board with the solution but the actual users within the organization push back because of the impact it would have on them personally. The result is that concerns from the users outweigh management’s desire to make the right business decision. So, the deal is lost.
How to Resolve: Salespeople need to make sure the people who will be most impacted by implementing the solution buy into the change. When prospecting, this requires placing as much emphasis on the users as the decision-makers or influencers.
7. Don’t make the prospect wait for you
The parallel to always meeting deadlines that we talked about in The Ten Most Important Things to Do When Closing a Deal blog post is not making the prospect wait for you to correspond.
If the prospect requests information or more documentation on how your solution will be implemented, be responsive. If you make the prospect wait longer than a reasonable amount of time, it will send the wrong message about your professionalism as well as your solution.
How to Resolve: Be organized, professional, and responsive when engaging with prospects.
8. Don’t forget to document the business case for yes
The salesperson’s job is to document the impact that your solution will have on the company. This means getting everyone involved in the process to understand the impact and agree on the scope.
The key is this needs to be written down and presented to the prospect. That way, if there is a question later in the sales process, you can sit down with the prospect and point to what was agreed on and what the scope of your solution will be.
How to Resolve: Do not rely on verbal conversations. If the prospect comes back to you in two weeks to question an aspect of the deal, you risk negotiating against yourself if the business case was not written down and agreed upon.
9. Don’t change the scope without an agreement
Too often, salespeople change the scope of the agreement at the last second when closing the deal. This is a byproduct of not being confident in the value your solution will provide the company and trying to make up for it at the end of negotiations.
If a prospect feels like you are being dishonest by making a sudden change, the deal will be held up, stall out for a period of time, or even be lost, while also damaging your reputation.
How to Resolve: Be consistent with the scope and agreed-upon pricing throughout the sales process. Also, remember that closing the deal is just one step in the process and not an opportunity to increase scope that was not agreed upon during negotiations.
The Importance of Resolving the 9 Don’ts of Closing the Deal
Our list of nine things not to do when closing the deal can be solved in the following ways:
- Do your research on the value of your solution to the prospect.
- Be upfront, honest, and consistent throughout the sales process.
- Have regular, productive conversations with the prospect.
To get more perspective on the do’s and don’ts of the sales process, you can reach me directly to have a 10-minute conversation about how ProSales Connection can help your business reach more prospects with your solution!