For ten weeks you filled your pipeline with strong, qualified leads in order to blow-out your numbers this quarter.
Although you were cautiously optimistic about your funnel, you felt very certain about the proposals you have out there. Albeit, not signed, you can bank on at least 2 to 3 of the deals that are currently on the table. Sales is a numbers game, right? You simply throw enough spaghetti against the wall and some of it is bound to stick.
Now, there are 2 weeks left-the end of the quarter hit you like a ton of bricks. Now you’re beginning to feel the heat from your supervisor as you slowly lose each deal one-by-one. It’s also around this time-at the end of the quarter-when family deaths occur, storms hit, theft is identified and/or they claim financial distress. Your “done deal” is no longer available as you find yourself having to start over. What went wrong? What is there to do now?
In hindsight, your “qualified” leads were anything but “hot leads”. They were simply people who were afraid to say “no” and so they strung you along. You were not asking the right questions to get to their “X Factor”, or motivating factor, in order to stimulate action. Perhaps a trial close requesting a down payment would have either closed a deal earlier or at least found out that they were a dud earlier on in the quarter so you can recover. Remember, a “No” is better than a “Maybe” because a deliberate answer allows you to re-formulate your strategy.
Nevertheless, there are 10 days left to make your number. Your quarterly bonus as well as livelihood is on the line. It’s time to buckle down and hit it hard for the next 10 days.
Here is what you can do to make it happen despite some major setbacks earlier in the quarter:
1) Apologize ahead of time to friends, spouses and/or family that you are going to be busy for the next two weeks and may not be as available.
2) Next, group your customers into three lists: Group A are the folks whose proposals are already out. Go see them in person and close the deal or at the very least get a down payment, as every minute is critical at this juncture. Group B are the people who have shown interest but have not talked of specific terms surrounding your product. They know the product, but not the price, payment schedule, etc. Call these customers and qualify by asking their level of interest and if the terms were right, would they buy this quarter? Do not sound too desperate. Lastly, the C Group are the folks who already said “no” or don’t know about your product or services. Send them an email as to cast a wide net in order to get a few bites.
3) We all know you need to close these deals, don’t just keep dropping the price. Throw in low-cost/high-value items (e.g. warranty or ancillary offerings). The lower you make the price, the more units you will have to sell. You don’t have the luxury of time in order to push out a ton of units. Make smart deals that make sense for the customer, company and you.
There are probably a few hundred things you can have done to prevent the end of the quarter rush. At this point, do what you can by creating you’re A, B and C customers and use your sales skills to the best of your ability. Once you hit your number, slow down, grab a cool one and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Read more posts by Thomas La Vecchia, sales expert. Thomas blogs for JenningsWire.