Podcast 132: The Art of Closing A Deal With Danny Read

This week we’re pleased to have an award winning sales rep on the podcast.

This week we’re pleased to have an award winning sales rep on the podcast. You may remember back at Dreamforce, Chili Piper threw a competition judged by John Barrows and other sales leaders. The criteria to win was to tell the panel about a deal you closed against the odds, using teamwork and generating a great solution for the buyer a the same time. Enter Danny Read from G2 who was one of the winners. In this podcast, he talks us through the story of his deal and the hurdles he overcame. This is a killer episode for AE’s out there looking to master the art of closing a deal!

In This Podcast You’ll Learn:

  • Giving a lot away
  • Teamwork that helps the buyer get what they need
  • Getting the deal over the line

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Giving a lot away

John Barrows: So in this deal, it sounds like you were giving a lot away to help them get the bigger picture with what you were trying to show them. How did you get the balance right with that and not overstep the mark?

Danny Read: The balance was their engagement back to me, that’s always going to be a big one. They are constantly answering my emails late at night, getting back to me in a timely manner. It’s very clear that they care about this. So a lot of it is establishing timeline for when does this need to get done and why. And then when they tell you why you can hold them accountable by that date, it’s like, Hey, if we get past this date, you set this, and this is going to happen.

So honestly, this is one of the hardest part of sales is holding people to timelines. It’s their buy, it’s not your buy, right? So I’m in terms of personalizing a lot of the data, I’m very fortunate to work for a two sided marketplace where almost anything I send to somebody is already relevant to them. Hey,  this is your profile. Let me share some insights on how you can take advantage of this.

So in that aspect, I’m very spoiled because it can be very easy to personalize everything given what our platform is. And it is actually the same thing and the way that we sell because we naturally will ward people that move faster with us. Meaning there’s a component on our site where if you are the first people to sign up in a category, you’re going to get more data than anybody else that signs up after you on a specific package.

So that the, urgency is built into the product in a way. And so that helps us a lot with a lot of this stuff. They need to tell you when they need to move and they need to tell you the impact that it’s going to make. You need to use their words to set those expectations.


John Barrows: SO who else was involved in the deal from both sides? Did you take the contact in the account up from champion to decision maker? And did you bring in your team mates to help out?

Danny Read: A big part of this was teamwork. The decision maker kept pulling in people from his team to make sure they were all good with it and that included their sales rep, their COO, their customer success manager on exactly how they should go about getting reviews and working with them.

But from my side, who I’d pulled in was throughout the process involved sharing each detail with my manager of course. I was looking for his feedback on what I can do differently or where we might be out with the deal. The next part was bringing in my director of partnerships and seeing how we could both work together in the future to establish a some sort of strategic partnership.

There was some room for it there. We didn’t have it clearly defined just yet but getting her on a call with him helped in making this deal so strong. That’s because there’s so many different areas of communication that are now sparking. It’s not just me and the decision maker.

Getting the deal over the line

John Barrows: So what initially was the blocker from this deal closing and what was your tactic to bring it back to life? That to me is really where the art of closing a deal comes from, how you do that in the right way.

Danny Read: The biggest thing was the budget and it was the fact that they really didn’t have any of that money right now. They were bootstrapped and they were getting more money, but they didn’t have the budget to pay for it right now. So they asked for a special deal to pay for some of it, now pay for some of it at this point and pay for a lot of it later.

And we didn’t have any of that built into our process. It wasn’t going to happen if it went through standard process. I was fortunate enough that I didn’t have to do this work myself. Their CEO Gil reached out to ours for a conversation about it. So they had a conversation and then from that conversation I got the green light from my CEO and my CFO to grant them this special provision in their contract that made it able for them to sign.

That process really played itself out for me. It didn’t do too much work. But that was a month and a half process of where the deal was halted. Mainly because they didn’t have the money to pay for it and we had to get around that.

John Barrows: So teamwork, getting creative with a customer. Was the main area where you got creative with a customer could be around helping them out with their data? Showing them things, getting a little bit creative on the financing?

Danny Read: Yes, 100%. So he reached out that he was going to talk to our CEO. I called my CEO and I prepped him for that meeting. We went over all the different ways we can work with this company. Stuff like why they would make a good customer and eventually why would they would make a good partner later. So all of that led into an approval for a special provision for them.

That’s a wrap. Join us next time

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