We want to close big deals. Big customers want better solutions, lower prices, and their problems solved. Bingo! That’s what we do! And lucky for us, we do it better, cheaper, and faster than our competitors.
So then, why aren’t we closing more big deals?
We aren’t closing more big deals because we’re not making the buying process more emotional.
In big deals, we think big dollars means big logic. It doesn’t. The bigger the deal, the bigger the emotion. While we’re zigging with features, benefits, price discounts, savings ROI, and contract concessions, buyers are zagging with how they feel about change.
Buyers have much more emotion about our solution, product, or service than we recognize. Especially in a pandemic world.
Mostly that emotion is doubt.
Perhaps they doubt your ability to execute. They doubt your pricing is competitive. They doubt they will get the budget approved. They doubt this switch will help their career. They doubt this is worth their time. They doubt your company is the right long-term partner.
To oversimplify this, they doubt something, and it’s stalling you from winning the deal.
When we sense doubt, we need to meet emotion with emotion. The secret is to give the buyer fewer spreadsheets and more confidence, excitement, or peace of mind about your solution.
The Puppy is just too cute to send back
In solution-oriented sales today, the best way to help the buyer feel something is the modern version of the puppy dog close. Let them take it home and try it out.
In other words, let the customer engage meaningfully with the people delivering the service. This can take on a lot of different shapes. This isn’t is teeing up your A- list referrals – it’s much more than that.
Bring the person or team responsible for delivering the service into work directly with the customer on a short trial basis. Perhaps it’s a proof of concept. Maybe it’s letting the customer shadow another project or customer solution. Maybe it’s something else the customer suggests.
This also does not mean giving the deal away for free (all finance folks can sigh now).
Instead, think of it as free VIP backstage passes.
Ask…How can we bring the customer further into our process to make them not just a customer but a fan? If it works for Justin Bieber, it can work for you.
By making them a fan, the buying process becomes more emotional and less logical. And people do crazy things based on emotion (perhaps they even buy your product).
To oversimplify this, give a little to get a lot.
The Buyer’s Perspective
About 2 years ago, I led a $1M+ software and services vendor selection. This purchase was part of a strategic business case I had developed. Besides the money involved, I felt like I had invested substantial career capital in this initiative, and the wrong decision wouldn’t just be professional. It’d be personal too.
We were deep into the buying process, but I doubted we had the right guys selected. I was scared of making the wrong choice. What would that mean for my career advancement if this blew up?
The Salesperson sensed my pace slowing and took the initiative. He connected me with the leaders and teams responsible for delivering our solution. I spent a lot of time with them. I knew what he was doing, but it didn’t matter. The more time I spent with them, the more I liked them, and the more confidence I gained that they could deliver.
And we closed the deal.
But Brian, that won’t work for my situation because…
- Objection #1: There’s no way I can put the person responsible for operations delivery in front of a customer.
- Handling Response: Level up internally. If the deal is worth it, bring in a more senior leader with similar growth targets and will be supportive.
- Objection #2: There’s no way the person responsible for delivery will want to engage with the customer.
- Handling Response: Level up internally. If the deal is worth it, bring in a more senior leader that has similar growth targets and will be supportive.
- Objection #3: There’s no way the customer will commit the time to engage in a short term, non-committal engagement/ trial/ backstage tour.
- Handling Response: A quick no is better than a slow maybe. If the client pushes back, you missed something earlier in the sales cycle, and you aren’t as close to closing as you thought you were.
If you’re in business, then your company has a growth target. If you have a growth target, then there’s a pipeline with big deals in it.
How can you make one of those big deals a fan, not just a customer?