In post one, we looked at what happens when a good prospect is not progressing as planned. Why is this? Often, something has happened to slow things down and there isn’t the impetus or ownership from anyone within the prospect organisation that you’re selling to, to make it happen. To put it another way, we’ve not given them strong enough reasons to make it happen now.
This brings us to the second part of this four part series, which is when the prospect is in no hurry to make a decision. There may well be, ultimately, a piece of business in this organisation for us, but as yet we’ve not found a strong enough reason or trigger event, also sometimes called a compelling event, for them to take action now.
The underlying trigger could be anything ; e.g. an office relocation, them acquiring another business, entering a new market, needing to comply with fresh legislation. Or it could simply be improved operational performance, as a result of increased productivity and/or reduced costs. Perhaps something like 40% more through-put at 25% of the current cost.
It is critical for us to know specifically what it is costing them to delay taking action. Sometimes the cost of delay is higher than the investment required and if this is the case, we can produce an ROI to demonstrate this. Even if the ROI has a 6-12 month payback, it will often get a good reception from senior management, especially if you can find a sponsor who has recently joined or been promoted and is looking to make an impact.
The bottom line is that once we have established rapport and got the prospect to open up about their challenges etc, we can then build credibility and trust, by our clear understanding and experience of working with this specific set of challenges.
All of a sudden we’ve moved from, this is a good idea but there’s not enough of an appetite internally to get it through the system, to absolutely, we the prospect can see how delaying this is costing us X thousand pounds a month, or a week, or a day, or whatever the numbers may be. It’s a no brainer, of course we would want to achieve X, Y, and Z, and we can see why and how you could help us to achieve it. Certainly in terms of moving to the next stage in the sign-off process it’s now got back on track and we’ve got the impetus, we’ve got the urgency, and we’ve ticked the box that says no hurry.
In summary, the bridge between no need and no hurry is largely about us bringing genuine insight to the discussion, challenging their thinking and maybe asking some loaded questions. Plus remembering that only good selling can overcome operational inefficiency.