Strained Rupee; Belt-tightening clients; Severe competition; Dire need to grow business – Sadly, all of these are a reflection of today’s business environment. And big or small, every business is finding it difficult to clinch new deals, renew older ones. The result – stressed-out workplaces, frayed tempers.
While all of the factors involved in bagging a deal might not be in your hands and thereby, controllable, there are a few things you could do to ensure that you have done your homework and have covered the ground. Find below some of these essentials that can bring you close to closing a deal quickly.
• Ensure you are talking to the right guy. This is perhaps one of the most important factors in effectively closing a sales deal. Find out whether the lead you are going to meet with, present your pitch, explain your business proposition, discuss pricing nitty-gritty’s, is the ‘right’ guy or not.
By ‘right’ guy, we mean the person who will make the final call, who will be the decision-making authority, be it, on the scope of work, pricing, governing responsibilities in particular or the general assigning of the deal. Remember, if you are not in touch with the right authority, you would be wasting precious time.
• Find out about all the steps involved in signing the deal.
This becomes critical if you have pitched to a large business house or a multi-national. For then, there are various departments/teams involved in the closure of a deal. You would probably start with the marketing team on the business pitch, then be directed to communicate with the operations team on the scope of work, then the pricing team and finally probably the financial officer to sign the deal.
Make sure you are aware of every stage involved so that you can schedule time and resources at your end accordingly. This need will not arise if you are dealing with a smaller organization/business, for then the deciding authority/team maybe just one or at the most two levels.
• Be ready with every related data, information or explanation that may be asked for.
Best is to keep a small team or an individual from your office on stand-by while you are in the deal discussion and negotiation stage. The prospective client may ask for a whole lot of data/information that you had not planned for.
You should be able to get this information in no time from your office so that the talks don’t come to a stop. Therefore, keep references, data-points, materials ready at all times.
• Follow-up regularly.
Once the talks are over and the final pitch and pricing has been sent, schedule your calendar in a way that you follow up on the progress of the deal at the client’s end. This is a thin rope you would be walking on. For, if you show too much eagerness, the client may try to squeeze some bit more from you on the pricing or responsibilities front.
On the other hand, if you do not follow up enough, your competitor may snatch the deal from under your nose. Hence, follow up judiciously, making sure not to infuriate your contact at the other end, and at the same time being fully aware of the progress.