Monday, May 2, 2011

Good News or Bad News?

What do you want first, the good news, or the bad news? How many times have you heard that? Are you like me, and you mix it up? This can be good for news, but bad for sales. When is the best time to deal with hard questions and potential bad sales news?

I am a strong believer in having distinctive phases in of your sales process. These phases should make sure you are ready to do the next step. Why would you talk pricing before you know their need? Of course YOU wouldn’t, but I hear people do it every day. One of the key phases is qualification. If you have a technical resource, this is where I feel you should really engage them. If we can answer the technical questions at this stage, we can move on to the closing phase that is all business, not technical.

Let’s say it is the end of the month and we are pushing our deals hard, so we as the salesperson answer the technical questions the best we can. We move the deal to the negotiation phase and are pushing hard to close the deal this month. Last minute technical questions come up so what do we do? Engage the sales engineer and maybe slow the deal down and miss this month, or offer incentives? Most of the time, I see discounts get offered.

So answer the questions first or delay and discount. You want the good news or the bad news?