On Tuesday, we talked about how the biggest killer of B2B deals is fear of looking stupid.
If your buyer isn’t 100% confident in your solution, that fear will make them hesitate and unlikely to hire you to fix the problem you uncovered.
What can we do in our sales process to help buyers to get over that hump?
1. Drag the monster out from under the bed.
In the first meeting, I want to talk about why the prospect is reaching out to us now.
Is something happening internally (e.g., The CEO has a bee in her bonnet, or they’re launching a new product), or externally we have a trade show, or new competition has cropped up) driving their urgency? If so, get that out on the table right away!
If later in the process things slow down, you can always pull it back out again. “I know you’re saying now isn’t the right time, but if your CEO asks about this, what will you tell her?”
2. Make a plan to make a decision
Another question I will often ask in the first conversation with a prospect is, “What’s the process you are going to use to decide to go forward on this?”
A shocking number of people will say, “Good question, I’m not really sure…”
If they don’t have a process that they’ve agreed to internally with all the stakeholders, then it’s unlikely you’ll end up in a “yes.”
But don’t give up; work on creating a process with them on the call. “How have you made decisions like this in the past? Who’s usually involved? Do you have a budget allocated for this…” Work with them to create a process – then you will be their project manager and walk them to the “yes!”
3. Address their fears directly
When the early enthusiasm starts to wane, you can talk with the buyer about it!
“Hey, I remember in the first call that this was an urgent need for you, and you saw a lot of promise in the solution we discussed. Has anything changed about that for you?”
A great way to reassure nervous, late-stage buyers is to show them case studies where you solved the problem they are bringing for someone a lot like them; when they see the outcome in the case study, that is very reassuring!
4. Call in the cavalry
You will likely need to get all the stakeholders on the call to approve the deal. Not just your buyer/point-person, but their boss and others who might be involved.
The earlier you can get them around the table, the better!
They might see other monsters that you haven’t heard of yet; they might have objections that your buyer didn’t mention.
If you can get consensus from the whole group that your solution is the right one, your buyer’s confidence and the ability for them to say yes, goes WAY up.
To get these deals across the finish line, we need to take charge and not let our buyer’s fear of looking foolish be a deal killer!