I wish there were quick and easy answers on this topic. Suggestions you might find on the internet to, for example, offer a time limit on special pricing (and other similar tactics) sometimes do not motivate customers. Attempting this approach can undermine trust you have worked hard to build. The answers come from understanding your customers.
Information you need
In order to start figuring out the best approach you will need to understand the following about your customer:
- Business trends
- Market forces (e.g. are their competitors applying pressure)
- Business and other challenges
- Short and long-term objectives
- Decision process including
- Key contacts and their roles
- Steps in the customer’s decision process
- Customer decision criteria
What you are trying to find
You are looking for information regarding potential significant negative events and/or missed business opportunities that would occur in your customer without your solution. Some examples:
- Missing potential revenue growth
- Failure of new products/services launch
- Losing marketshare to competitors
- Executive involved in decision process misses promotion opportunity
- Reduction or elimination of performance bonus for key contacts in the decision process
Your job is to ensure this information is used to position your solution as the best way to avoid negative events (and/or take advantage of opportunities)…and that acting ASAP will provide the greatest value (versus other solutions). While this may involve some hard work it puts you on a more reliable path toward success!
One way to test urgency
Ask whomever is guiding you (your coach in the customer)…”What happens if this issue is not resolved?”. You will get some interesting answers and will know more about how to approach trying to drive your deal forward.
Feel free to contact me directly for ideas and/or help on this or other topics!
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