“It’s also really important to note that the end of your quarter or the end of your year is NOT a compelling event for your future customer.” – Scott Ingram in today’s Tip 675
Do you use compelling events to close deals?
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today over on the Sales Success Stories podcast I released a bonus episode featuring tips from James Muir, Todd Caponi, and Mark Schenkius around closing deals at year-end. In pulling that together and asking people to contribute tips of their own on the topic I realized that there’s never been a tip about Compelling Events on this show, and since that’s something that I frequently leverage in my own process I thought I’d share my own thoughts on this powerful approach.
A compelling event is something happening with your prospect that is driving their timeline. This could be a new product that they’re getting ready to launch, this might be their annual customer event, it could be their budget cycle or the expiration of an existing agreement. It could also be something that is ROI based, but those are often a lot harder to get complete buy-in around and don’t have a single specific date. For example. If not implementing your solution is costing them $60,000 per day. Then that’s pretty compelling and the sooner they act the better, but it’s not a drop-dead type of date.
It’s also really important to note that the end of your quarter or the end of your year is NOT a compelling event for your future customer. This has to be something in their world that is driving them.
I’ll give you a real-world example from my own pipeline right now, but I’m going to make the details a little bit more generic. I have an opportunity where the contract with their current solution provider is expiring in 6 months. That vendor knows they’re planning to leave and has made it very clear that they won’t do a contract renewal or extension for less than 1 year.
Now you might be thinking, Scott that’s great, but how is something that happens 6 months out going to help me now when I’m trying to get this deal closed before the end of the year. Well, with most compelling events you need to do a little bit of extra thinking about all of the steps and the timelines involved. In this case, my future customer knows that their procurement and new vendor onboarding process is a bit arduous and will likely take us 3-4 weeks to get through. It’s also going to take us 12-16 weeks to complete the implementation and get their new system and up and running so that they no longer need to rely on the current solution. Plus we’ll need to allow for some time for training and the rest of the transition.
To bridge the rest of the time gap, we’ve mostly going to talk about various risks around the timeline. We’re going to need to contend with the holidays, and we want to make sure we’ve got a little bit of buffer time to make sure that everyone is comfortable and confident in the new system and not taking this right down to the wire and risk them having to do this additional 1-year renewal at significant expense.
So we’ve agreed that we really need to get the agreement done by the end of the year and are working towards completion by December 11th to give ourselves a little bit of an extra buffer.
Now, this is all about their timeline and has nothing to do with mine. Of course it just so happens that it has us completing the deal and having their PO in hand before the end of the year. So I am constantly looking for these types of drivers. It allows me to build these timelines that are all about the customer. It’s a way that you can serve them and push them a bit, but it’s in their best interest and not because I’m selfishly trying to close a deal before the end of my year.
You’ll also notice that not once have I mentioned a discount. Because there isn’t one. That has nothing to do with this process.
So give that some thought. With the deals in your pipeline that you’re working to get closed before the end of the year. Look for a compelling event. Is there something that is driving their timeline that you can align with and get out of the end of year squeeze, pressure, and unnecessary discount trap.
For some smart ideas that are more closely related to the traditional discounting play, check out the bonus episode on Sales Success Stories and I’ll have a link to that for you at DailySales.Tips/675
But give this compelling event idea a try, and let me know how it goes. Then come on back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!