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Sunday, May 24, 2009

DEALING WITH GIANTS: Getting closer to the Close

Dealing With Giants
with Claudine Halpern

Next steps, Getting closer to the Close….Following Up, working smart, getting what you want

Remember, the Sales process BELONGS TO YOU, so take over and get the job done. Let’s go back though what you’ve done to date:

1) You’ve prepared for the first sales call

2) You’ve given a bang up presentation

3) You’ve overcome adversity by understanding your customers

4) You’ve determined that the prospect will be a good customer

Now you want to make sure that they want you. I’m sure that you remember that during our presentations we collected everyone’s email address and phone numbers. Now is the time to use them, 24-48 hours after your presentation, send a thank you email to everyone who attended along with a copy of the presentation.

Start the ongoing dialogue that will result in sale, you’ve set up the next meeting with the BIG BOYS during the initial presentation, now is the time to create a model that they will understand that you can work together. If you give the BIG BOYS a reason to bring you in they will, don’t let anything get in the way, YOU OWN THE SALES PROCESS.


BIG BOYS (Like almost everyone else) want something for nothing

I NEED A PROPOSAL: Remember that you are looking for the BIG SALE, sometimes it takes a small sale to get to a big sale. My clients often ask me; When do I start changing the client? When is a proposal an actual piece of work and when is it a sales tool?

Remember that the BIG BOYS want to get as much out of you without paying you, and you want to start to get paid, NOW IS THE TIME TO START CHARGING.

Create a small proposal that answers an important problem. I very often sell tiny pieces of work before I sell a big piece of work. Get the BIG BOY used to paying for you and your advice.

I was asked by a client to create a proposal for a VERY VERY BIG BOY. We were able to get the client to commit to pay for five days worth of work, the result of which was an analysis with recommendations. Guess what the recommendation was? Very good guess, our expert recommendation was a solution that only our company could address. This turned into a multi-million dollar relationship that is ongoing.

In your mind you need to understand the difference between product and services, and learn how to sell each of them. If you and your team are experts in something, then the advice and recommendations that you give are products, worthy of payment.

WE ONLY WORK WITH PREFFERED VENDORS: Many BIG BOYS won’t work with you unless you are a PREFFERED VENDOR. This is an onerous process that you and your company may or may not be able to accomplish. IT IS NOT ALWAYS NEEDED BEFORE YOU START WORK, there are many ways to get over, under, around or through this requirement. Every BIG BOY has their own rules, but most include the ability to work with a variance, so don’t let this stop you from moving ahead.

WE”VE PUT THE PROGRAM ON HOLD: This may or may not be true, if it is true, ask permission to reconnect in 90 days and work on another deal.

There are many more excuses; your job is to judge if the excuse is a challenge that you need to overcome, a request for free services or a kiss off.


Always stay in touch with people that you’ve presented to, they will become your business partners at some point in life, choose people that feel right for you and your firm and keep the conversation going. Now is the time to meet for a casual lunch, for drinks, or just keep in contact. The BIG BOYS sometimes make instant decisions and sometimes take forever, each case is different. I cannot tell you what to do in the case of long lead times but here are some things to watch for:

o Every meeting is the same group of people and they always ask the same questions

o You never see any of the same people, and no one remembers what you said

Neither one of these is a good sign, what you want to see is one or two decision makers championing your company and introducing you to other, relevant player at the BIG BOYS.

ASK FOR THE BUSINESS: This is one of the hardest things to do, ask for the business, give them a start date, give them a dollar value, tell them what you’ll accomplish together and get it going. Don’t wait for the BIG BOY to initiate this conversation, they won’t, you need to. It’s ugly and scary but you get over it after you’ve done it a few times.

Next Article; Next steps, Getting closer to the Close…. Making it Legal, Handshake Commitments, Letters of intent, Contract Negotiation

Claudine Y. Halpern, President, The YCH Group, Inc.

Claudine Halpern is a chameleon; she has worked in many different situations during her more than twenty-five years in business; as a management consultant, Claudine advised many of the major brokerage, insurance, and financial houses, completing more than fifteen major corporate initiatives during the past ten years. As a crisis manager for major corporations, Claudine successfully brought in projects and products that other firms would not touch. As a specialist in business and management consultancy, Claudine consults to emerging businesses across the spectrum.



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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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