I’m getting a lot of questions from reps right now about what they can do to make sure the deals in their pipeline will close by the end of the year or how they can create urgency to get them to close. There’s no magic answer to this other than discounting (which is sad) but there is something you can do to test the waters.
Whether or not a client is going to close before the end of the year mainly has to do with everything you’ve done up until this point to set the stage for it. Have you truly identified their business priorities and how your solution can help address them? Have you understood their timeline and why they need to do it by the end of the year and what happens if they don’t? Have you defined your champion and worked with them on a close plan? Do you know what the procurement/legal process is and set up your internal resources to respond to redlines? Do you know what happens if they don’t make this decision by the end of the year and what the impact is?
These are all questions you should have answered at this point if you want the deal to close. If you don’t have them answered then good luck with using discounts to try and manufacture urgency but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen and you end up losing the deal all together.
If you do have these questions answered and you’re still nervous about the deal and looking for something to do in the meantime to confirm the likeliness of it closing then send them a ‘summary e-mail.’ I’ve written about this before and called it “my favorite nugget.” I mainly use it to summarize the conversations I have with clients right after a meeting and use it to hold them accountable for what was discussed during the call or meeting. I also use it towards the end of the sales cycle to confirm we’re still on the same page without ‘touching base’ or ‘checking in’ and sounding desperate.
It usually goes something like this:
I hope you enjoyed the holidays and found some downtime with the family. I’ve been reviewing my notes about our discussions and wanted to make sure we were both on the same page as we approach the end of the year. Could you do me a favor and review this to let me know if it’s still all accurate and if I missed anything?
- Current situation
- Business priorities
- Decision priorities
- Next steps in the process
Don’t make this e-mail too long and make sure you focus on THEIR priorities and timeline, not yours. Also, don’t use this to close them, just use it to confirm everything you know about their situation. If they respond with positive comments or confirmation, then you should be in good shape. If they don’t I’d be worried.
Make it Happen!