Game Seven – There is No Tomorrow with This Sales Opportunity

Game 7

I had hoped to write this post a day earlier, before the drama of game 7 actually played out, before the outcome was in the books.  But busy happened.

I was thinking about all of the Game 7’s that occur for companies, sales teams and salespeople, when there is no tomorrow.

I believe the phenomenon is counter-intuitive.  You hear about the last week of the month, quarter and year, and the sales managers that are putting on full-court presses, making calls, getting executive help and working overtime to get deals done.  But, in these scenarios, there is a tomorrow, at least from the prospects’ perspective.  They can just as easily buy from you or someone else next week, next month or next year.  All this drama is just so that the sales folks can hit their numbers and they are only in these life or death situations – every month, quarter and year – because they didn’t work the sales process as defined. They skipped steps, didn’t uncover the compelling reasons to buy, weren’t thorough enough, didn’t qualify effectively, and as a result, because of their artificial deadline, are offering price incentives to get the business closed today.  It’s a bad strategy.  As soon as a competitor offers their price incentives to take the business away, your customer is either gone or becomes unprofitable.

There are some opportunities that do come down to No Tomorrow.  But those are customer/prospect driven, not sales driven.  Believe it or not, most sales organizations do not respond to the real Game 7 scenarios with the same urgency as they do in my previous example.  It seems that when it’s more about “who will we choose?”, instead of “How much of a discount will you offer?”, salespeople are woefully ill-equipped to do what it takes to will a victory the way the Lakers did last night.

This is actually #19 of the Top 20 Requirements – How Salespeople Can be Better at Closing – differentiating themselves without talking about how they’re different, but by asking questions instead.

Speaking of differentiating, I just learned that this Blog, Understanding the Sales Force, was named one of the Top 20 Blogs on Sales by the folks that write the Lead Generation Blog called, About Leads.

In summary, don’t turn opportunities where there IS a tomorrow into a desperate, “How much of a price concession do we have to make?”, last ditch effort to close it today scenario, but do turn a customer/prospect-initiated deadline into a Game 7 scenario where you do whatever it takes to earn that business!