Posted by Mike Carroll ● Wed, Dec 9, 2009 @ 12:12 PM

Year End Closing Tactics

First, all of these suggestions assume you have a "closable" opportunity. That means you've established trust and rapport, you've explored all of the issues and have identified six to eight (6-8) compelling reasons for the prospect to take action, you understand the consequences (from the prospect's point of view and in their words) of NOT taking action, you have qualified the opportunity (that means you understand their budget, their timeline, their decision making process, who your competition is, etc.), and they have agreed to make a decision. If you cannot say yes to all of these conditions, you do not have a closable opportunity and these tactics will not work.

 

1. Tap unused budgets - if you are selling to larger organizations, chances are pretty good that they have budgets they have not used in 2009. For example, did they cut back on the number of trade shows they attended? Are there unspent marketing dollars available? Do they have money set aside for new office furniture they never purchased? Be creative and explore all potential funding sources that may be available. In larger organizations, their budgets are typically "use it or lose it" and can often be used to start a project.

2. Start now, bill in 2010 - if they have not budgeted for your product or service in 2009, you can get them committed by starting in December with the understanding that you will not bill them until January. Why not position it as a "head start" and get their commitment before the end of the year?

3. Bill now, start in 2010 - maybe they have unused budgets, but they don't have the other resources available to get started (people on their team, etc.). Can you get the signature now, invoice it and then start it in January?

4. Be persistent - make extra calls, ask follow up questions, keep the conversation going, and focus like a laser on your closable opportunities. The sales person who can push through the initial resistance they encounter by asking for their commitment and finding creative ways for them to get started, will usually get the order. Don't give up.

5. Last tip - DON'T discount. Carefully monitor the temptation your sales people will face to offer last-minute discounts to close the deal and get it on the books this year. It sends the wrong message to your clients and will reduce the lifetime value of these customers.

Follow this advice and you can still close some opportunities this year. And staying in front of your closable opportunities can only help you. Even if they don't buy in December, you'll enter the new year with a stronger pipeline. Good luck and good selling!


Topics: Closing, sales process, strategy

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