You have done all of the work in front of your opportunity. You have paid in advance for the deal by creating value and building consensus. Now, you have presented and you are waiting for your dream client to pass judgment. Your contact said that they will notify you by week’s end and, as the deadline looms, the only communication you have received is that “we are still deciding.”
Is it wrong to call? Are you being a nuisance? They did promise to call you, didn’t they? Should you take action, or should you wait?
The Case for Taking Action
(Don’t worry. There is no case for waiting.)
If you dream client is still deciding, they have concerns. They don’t know whether or not they should choose you or your competitor. They have seen your presentations, and they have seen your competitors, and they aren’t sure which of you will help produce the result.
There is an internal sale occurring.
Contacts within your dream client are discussing you and your solution, and they are discussing your competitor. Some may be trying to influence the group in your direction. Others may be trying to influence the group in another direction. They might want to choose your competitor, or they may be arguing for the status quo.
The worst place to be when this sale is occurring is somewhere else.
You don’t want to leave it to your clients to decide without you. Instead, you want the opportunity to resolve any concerns that would prevent you from winning the opportunity. The only way you can ensure that you get the opportunity to resolve their concerns is to ask.
A Second Bite at the Apple
There is nothing wrong with saying something like: “I can’t help but believe that you are struggling with this decision because some of you have some concerns. I’d like to help resolve those concerns and help make sure that we have answered every question in a way that would allow you to be 100% confident in choosing us—if we are the right partner for you and your team. Can we meet with you briefly to answer your questions and resolve any concerns that you may have?”
Buyers want growth, but they fear risk. At the end of their buying cycle, the risk starts to crowd out the need for growth, and it makes decision-making more difficult. As a professional salesperson, you know this is true, and it is your job to help your clients understand and mitigate their risks. It is your job to help them come to the right decision—even if it isn’t choosing you (but let’s hope the right decision is to give you their business).
Your clients can’t answer their own questions. They can’t resolve their own concerns. They don’t know what you know, and it’s likely that their concerns cropped up as they discussed their options and after you were long gone.
Waiting isn’t a good strategy because you are leaving your clients to decide without the information that you could give them to help them make a better decision. It is wrong to leave them to decide for themselves.
Don’t fear asking your clients to allow you to help them decide. Instead, fear not asking them and allowing them to come to the wrong conclusion.
Why do your clients need time to decide?
How do you help them come to a decision when they lack information?
Why don’t they share their concerns or issues with you?
What should you fear more, asking to resolve their concerns or waiting and allowing them decide poorly?