Like a bear taking a long Winter’s nap, it’s common that a deal goes into its own version of hibernation. At first the buyer seems ready to buy, creating hope for the salesperson. Then, a shift in priorities puts the sale on hold for weeks, months, or even years. Even the very best, most experienced salespeople can’t avert this from happening at least some of the time.
Managing the sales process once a deal goes into hibernation is one of those advanced sales skills whose mastery eludes many people during their careers. To become the equivalent of Spring sunshine that awakens a sleeping bear (without pissing the bear off!), salespeople must master the seven skills of Deal Arousal. Two of the simplest include:
1. Consistent Persistence
I’ve heard it said that showing up is half the battle. For many people, this alone is the biggest battle. Remembering to keep showing up or pushing past doubt and discouragement are habits most salespeople can improve in some way. In addition, buyers have built in forgetters and will easily develop amnesia the longer the deal remains in slumber.
Last week Ernie, a salesperson at a company I advise, awakened a polar bear sized deal after a year of hibernation. His campaign of Consistent Persistence cost him an hour in total time in those twelve months and net him and his company an initial million in revenue. Best of all, the deal closed quickly because of his persistence, the hunger of the client, and the Evolved Value he delivered.
2. Create and Deliver Evolving Value
Continuing to sell what you offered before the deal went into hibernation won’t bring many deals out of deep sleep. As you engage in Consistent Persistence, you must evolve value in three ways: based upon how the customer’s business and industry have changed, in a manner that further accentuates your offering, and by adding value that makes ROI even more attractive to both parties.
Ernie got the customer to buy quickly because the Evolved Value made it too attractive for the buyer to pass up. Best of all, the profitability of the deal a year later increased by more than 10%.
Some buyers can be a real bear to deal with over time. Still others are ready for an awakening from a savvy salesperson who can create a Spring-like experience that causes the deal to rise and shine.