We were on the phone, deep in a good business discussion about a service that could help me in my business. This seller (Sally) did all the rights things: she focused on my situation, asked intelligent questions, made an appealing presentation, and shared one or two ideas. Then, when I was wavering on moving ahead, she destroyed any chance she had of getting my business by saying…
“I only have openings for two more clients and my prices are going up next week, so if you are interested, you need to decide quickly.”
Whoa! Where did that come from???
As a prospective buyer, I felt like someone who was at a perfectly lovely picnic when a spraying skunk suddenly jumped onto the blanket. I couldn't get away fast enough. Sally’s choice to use these obvious pressure tactics to close business turned a promising conversation into a cheap street vendor transaction.
What Could Sally Have Done?
Let’s give Sally the benefit of the doubt and accept that she was telling the truth about her limited client capacity and price increases and that she felt she was losing her sale. Here are three other ways she could have dealt with the situation:
- Share the capacity/price increase information earlier in the conversation, perhaps, when I asked her about her services. She might have said, “Clients like that I can give them the time they need, so I make a point of only taking X number of clients at a time. Right now, I have room for two more. As for pricing, I will be raising rates next month to be more in line with the market. What I do with clients like yourself is…” And, then, at the end, when she saw me wavering, her capacity/price comment would have simply been an acceptable reminder as to why it would be prudent for me to decide then.
- Question where I was in my thinking at the end of our conversation. “I sense you are not sure if you want to proceed. May I ask what you are thinking?” Then, I would have shared any objections or concerns and she could have dealt with them—keeping the whole conversation still at that higher trust level.
- Review the value of what we discussed and ask what additional questions or concerns I had and then continue as in #2.
Avoid the Skunk
No question there are times when deadlines and scarcity need to be stated. For example, if a publication has a closing date and there are limited premium advertising positions available, a seller is well within his rights to state that to a buyer to get a decision. If a buyer is set on completing a complex IT project by a certain time, he needs to hear that a decision is needed sooner, rather than later to ensure that the necessary time and resources will be available to meet his goal.
But when timing and scarcity are used as desperate ploys to push a buyer to sign, then the chances for success are slim to none.
Don't let a skunk ruin your next picnic.
Make What You Say Pay!
Need Help With Your Presentation or Demo Skills or Story?
Call today and turn your information that tells into an experience that sells.
"Anne has transformed the way we engage with clients. I highly recommend her for demo/presentation training." Trish Bertuzzi, Pres, The Bridge Group, Inc.
“I still use what you taught me thirteen years ago!” CEO, #1 luxury website
“Thanks to you, our presentation went very well…I am in awe at how you are able to analyze a situation and help me focus in on the key points that need to be clarified and emphasized. You make it look easy, but I know it is not!Lynn Hutzel-Visel, VP, Comerica Bank
2. I discovered a new sales tool that is a time-saving godsend for anyone who needs to find telephone numbers and email addresses for prospects. What can takes hours to research now takes only seconds (!) with Capture, a plug-in created by Ringlead. Capture does this and more. Check it out. www.ringlead.com/capture (I like this so much, I have become an affiliate for them,)
If you like these posts, please share with friends, clients, and colleagues. Thank you!