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How Not to Close End of Quarter Deals
By John Barrows | April 10, 2019

For many of us, April marks the start of a new quarter, fresh targets and quota and new opportunities to focus on. Sometimes you hit your quarterly number with weeks to spare, other times you’re pushing in any deal you can to Make It Happen by the end of that third month.

I received this email last week (looks like the end of someone’s Q1),  which is a great example of sales done wrong, in my opinion. Let’s take a look and break it down, and identify what they could have done instead. I’ve changed the name of the company to XYZ to protect the guilty.

Hi John,

With XYZ’s end of Q1 rapidly approaching (where has 2019 gone!?) right now is a great time to rethink your (key feature of what the product does) goals for the remaining year. If you have been considering expanding your XYZ solution, now is the time! We do have some special offers to make sure we are ending our Q1 on a high note.

Please reach out to me if you wish to learn more.

*If you are not the point of contact I am sorry for reaching out. If you would not mind pointing me in the right direction that would be awesome*

Cheers,

Guilty Sales Rep

I get it. Maybe we’re not a high Tier1 account and this spray approach works for accounts that have 0.5% chance of converting, but even then there are better ways to approach this.

It starts off about them

The first sentence of the email is talking about how it’s their end of quarter. Good for you. That has nothing to do with my need for more licenses of this tool. There was no mention about my end of quarter, or what my team is focused on. This reminds me of Old Gil from The Simpsons who was always desperate to make a deal.

Discounts right away

It’s easy for me to say never discount, but I understand the reality of discounting and how sometimes it’s necessary to get the deal over the finish line. In those situations, I prefer to be flexible or get creative, but only when the prospect brings it up. Why would you bring up a discount before it’s even mentioned by the prospect?

Devaluing the product and company

Maybe I’m not going to be buying today, but I might in the future. When it comes time for me to upgrade or renew my license, do you think i’m going to pay list price at this point? Not a chance in hell! Just because I’m not a good candidate for a deal now, doesn’t mean I won’t be in the future.

Find the right person

This sentence just feels awkward. If you’re doing sales the right way, there should never be a need to apologize, especially for reaching out to an existing account. Just because it’s my name on the contract, take a look at JBarrows Sales Training on LinkedIn, or check out your own CRM records. You’d see that there is also a good likelihood you’ll need to talk to Meghan, our COO. This whole sentence feels wrong to me.

How to do it right

Now that I’ve broken down a few things this sales rep did wrong, let’s look at how they could have done it right. Especially considering we’re an existing account.

Build some rapport ahead of time

I have no idea who this rep is. I checked my inbox, and they hadn’t reached out to me before. Just because we’re an existing customer doesn’t mean I recognize you. Give some value in your first email, at the very minimum, an introduction and maybe some ways to get more use out of your tool.

Look at the insights

One major advantage you have when reaching out to an existing account is – you know how much they use, or don’t use the tool. One look at our account and you’d see that we’re pretty active. Indicating there may be some need for a bigger license. Same goes for any integrations which your customers are using.

If you are going to discount

If you are going to discount, make your customers feel special, and make sure you’re getting something in return. Offer it as a loyalty discount, make it advantageous to lock in or extend a contract. You could even get really creative and offer a discount for a guest appearance on our podcast, or for me to join you on an upcoming webinar (please don’t do either of these, they’re just an example of creativity).

As you kick off this quarter, good luck, and remember, a big fat pipeline solves most problems, especially related to discounting!

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