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Week 38 – Lead Your Customer to the Contract – 10

One fact is for sure undisputed: There is no economically sense making reason for creating offers that are unacceptable. What good should that be? Well, maybe some may think that you could beat time and make unacceptable offers in order to renegotiate.

Lead Your Customer to the Contract © Fotolia 2015 / opolja

Lead Your Customer to the Contract © Fotolia 2015 / opolja

My question refers to the typical offers that come to be, when the customer says „Make me an offer!“. Does that seem familiar? Or I could ask „Do you know the easiest way to get rid of an salesman?“ Right: You will say „Send me an offer…“ The salesman thinks: „Great! I can make an offer“ and actually the customer thinks: „Thank got I’m rid of that one…“

Here we see a typical error of communication that can be observed frequently. And many salesmen hardly think about the motive of this typical customer wish for an offer. You have the opportunity to do so now.

What do you think of this alternative behavior: If the customer says something like „Send me an offer“, you say „Sure! What should it contain for you to be delighted?“

Maybe this might seem crazy to you on first glance, but it is exactly what I do in my business. Let me work a little more on the phrasing. For example like this:

Salesman: “Sure, Mrs. Customer. The offer should be designed to be acceptable for you. That is why I have a few more questions for you: What should be part of the offer at any rate for your o be delighted?“

Customer: Well. The essential points. So what we are getting and the price“

(Let us say it is about an consulting project.)

Salesman: Yes sure, I understand that. What positions should the offer have, so that you can judge best whether you will place an order?“

Customer: Definitely your daily rate and further terms such as expenses, material etc.“

Salesman: Sure. This belongs into it: I tell you the contributions right away, ….What else should be in there?“

Customer: What else…Well- the dates. So when we will get the service.“

Salesman: That’s right. Let’s take a look at the calendar together- until when do you want the service to be rendered and until when should we start?“

Customer: By the xx.xx.xxxx everything should be done.“

Salesman: Great. That is definitely realistic. And what else should be depicted, in order for you to confidently say „Yes“?“

Customer: Actually…other than that… I can’t think of anything…“

Salesman: Good! If you have the offer on your desk by friday- when can I expect the order?“

Customer: Then you will have the consent within a week.“

Salesman: Ok. What do you think of proceeding cost-effectively and eliminate an unnecessary step: I send you the offer confirmation right away.“

Best case you hear an approval now. If you say it with a smirk, you increase your chances. Does it always work? No. Not always- but if you never ask, it can never work.

But what would be, if you did not get an approval but a vague statement- like:

Salesman: Ok. When do you need the offer?“

Customer: If I have it by friday, it will suffice.“

Salesman: Good! If you have the discussed offer on your desk by friday- when can I expect the order?“

Customer: Wait a second! I haven’t even promised you’re getting the hob yet!“

Salesman: Right. But- if there is no chance of getting the hob- what motivation should I have to create a fitting offer? Therefore here once again the question: If I offer everything to your entire satisfaction, as discussed- when can I expect the order?“

Customer: “IF I have the offer by friday and everything is offered as promised, then I can really imagine, to give you the consent within a week. Provided that everything fits.“

Salesman: Perfect. Then I will really buckle down and make sure that you have everything on your desk in time on friday. Can I do anything else for you today?“

Customer: Nothing at the moment.“

Salesman: Great. Then I am looking forward to working with you. I will get to work now.“

There are two elements I would like to highlight especially here.

Get your Contract

1.The offer has the quality of an offer confirmation

How often have we been sitting at the desk and consulted an oracle about what we should put into an offer. Several times we have elaborated and declared broadly what we can do. And all that despite it being so easy: We should discuss with the customer what he wants so that he can approve.

Therefore we engage in a concentrated dialogue with the decider and find out what he or she really expects. If we can provide this that way, it is a lot easier to use his language, his phrases and his structure in order to design the offer in a way that makes it easier for him to sign it.

As unusual that might seem at the moment, as effective it is.

2. The customer can imagine to place an order

If I cannot imagine something, I also cannot decide for it. Only what is possible in my mind can be successful. That is why it is extremely important that the customer does exactly that: Imagine to make business with us.

And if we want to do good work as a salesman, we use the dialogue with the customer to invite him to go through the desired decision once more in his mind. We want to achieve that he imagines making business with us in our presence. He should say „yes“ in his mind once. Then it is much more likely later that the actual decision will be the same later.

If I discuss this variant with my participants in seminars, I almost always see this fine, unbelieving, barely visible rising of one corner of the mouth on their faces that is trying to say „That cannot work!“

And because every single participant still tries it and tells me about it later, I can confirm from practice that it actually works in very different fields of business. Of course not always. But by far more often than never. What do you have to lose? And what would you win if only one out of ten or twenty offers turns into an order right away? Strictly mathematically speaking one out of twenty means 5%. And I know many organizations that would be more than content with 5% more success. How is that with you?

In the upcoming episode we will talk about the motional components in offers. How can we address a part of our customer’s brain that decides intuitively? How can we create an offer sympathetically?