B2G, B2B, B2C Sales
Closing the Deal is Just the Beginning
By Khristian Gutierrez
This article is relevant if you are in B2G Sales (business-to-government), B2B Sales (business-to-business) or B2C Sales (business-to-consumer) – or if you are the G, B or C group referenced above.
Ask any member of our Passport Parking sales team about the proven three-part framework for closing any deal, and they’ll tell you:
1- Like (build a relationship, find common ground and have fun).
2- Trust (prove your value: share insight on a topic, encourage the contact to research further in the space, and point them toward unbiased data, etc.).
3- Buy (create a buying environment, one in which the contact is so excited to use the service that they ask for the business. Nobody likes to be sold to.)
From Day One, we teach members of our sales team that they should be focused on going out into the market and finding friends and advocates – those who share our vision – and not going out into the market and pushing product.
Of course, so many steps go into a great deal process (discovery and consultation, proposal compilation, and negotiation, among others). And so many core steps from a pure sales perspective will help get a deal over the hurdle (humor, rebuttals, confidence, persistence, etc.).
But those are all components of the big three steps listed above.
I’ve had such a unique opportunity to help build and drive a company into market leadership, from a team of four to one with more than 60 passionate and dedicated young professionals. Over the last few years though, I’ve realized that nothing super-charges sales like seamlessly implemented deals.
The three-part framework process actually left out the most important step:
Delivering what was promised. This should be Step 4 above, or the new Step 1, or maybe intertwined throughout. In any case, it’s crucial: the follow-through.
I’ve watched companies come into our space with a bang and not make the cut. Huge trade show booths, advertisements in every industry rag shouting, “industry leader,” “most innovative” – you get the picture.
But after their marketing dollars generated interest, they couldn’t follow-through. Why not?
• “The technology just wasn’t there.”
• “There wasn’t enough support for our launch.”
• “Gaps in communication ...”
• “So many hidden fees.”
This important lesson has caused a fundamental shift in our perspective at Passport and has been a driving force for us. But I’ve seen companies that never learned the lesson and failed as a result.
• Salespeople, follow-through! If you’re selling shoes, watch the buyer walk around the store with a smile on his face. If you’re selling a car, see to it that the customer drives away in the right vehicle and with the appropriate financial liability. If you’re selling software, make sure there’s been a project kick-off and you’ve done everything you can to ensure the program’s success.
• Government agencies, buyers and consumers of a service, look at the track record! A friend or colleague’s recommendation is great, but we all know that a strong survey has more than just one sample. Ask for three references! Ask for the whole darn client list!
Reputations are built on a seamless product delivery, and recommendation letters are based on the time and attention spent after the deal is signed, ensuring that the product exceeds expectations.
Remember, closing the deal is just the beginning.
Contact Khristian Gutierrez, Chief Business Development Officer at Passport, at firstname.lastname@example.org.