The Enterprise sale has a narrative, and there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Here are some of the things you learn at the start and throughout a sale:
- Things not related to business (about their kids, hobbies, if they like bacon, etc.)
- The conditions and events that precipitated your prospect’s desire to speak with you.
- Where your prospect is at the moment?
- How a ‘better’ future may appear.
- What a ‘better’ future is worth.
- Obstacles they’ve encountered.
- Who makes the decisions?
Re-read the list above. Is there anything that is missing? It’s a big one.
Once you understand time, you can lead business prospects in reaching the ‘end’ or making a choice. Sometimes the ultimate result is a victory for you. Sometimes it’s a victory for your opponent. And, statistically, half of the time, the final result is that your prospect remains with the devil they know. If you understand time, you may prevent being locked in limbo by using a questioning framework known as CLWPC.
Change: “Is this anything you want to alter at the moment?”
This simple but effective inquiry may save you months of time and effort. Inquire early.
Live: “When would you wish to begin living (or beginning to reap the benefits)? September? November?”
This question assists you in developing a calendar that incorporates the actions necessary to meet your prospect’s go-live date.
Why: “Why not simply wait and see what happens if you miss this deadline?”
This inquiry assists you in determining the “energy” or urgency that motivates your prospect’s desire for change. Is your prospect’s response “sure, we could wait?” Or do they glow and inform you of why they can’t wait?
Individuals change for their reasons, not yours, owing to a phenomenon known as confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek, understand, prefer, and remember information that supports one’s initial ideas or assumptions. Therefore, if your prospect rattles off all the reasons they can’t wait, they are more likely to stick to their ideas and make the transition. However, the words must originate from them, not with you.
Project Schedule: Your prospects are very busy, and they may be unaware of all the processes necessary to go live or how long the process will take. Because you’ve been to this rodeo before, you can assist and lead them by producing a short project plan. The phases and dates of your project plan are reverses engineered depending on your prospect’s go-live date.
Here’s an example:
- Get buy-in from key stakeholders on the project plan – March 5
- Run proposal by CMO (decision maker) – March 15
- Decision date – March 30
- Meeting with IT to discuss technical requirements – April 5
- Legal review – April 15
- Procurement – May 5
- Contact Sign Off – June 1
- Kickoff – June 10
- Implementation – June 20
- Launch – July 1
Commitment: “Would it make sense to set aside some time on April 1 to talk about what your parents decided? And don’t worry if you decide you don’t want to work with us. We’ll get over you in no time.”
When you pose this question, one of two things might happen: (1) your prospect agrees and you have a “decision-making date” on the calendar; (2) they don’t, which might indicate that you overlooked something in the beginning or midway.