Surprises can be fun when they are part of a birthday; not-so-much when involved in selling and closing a B2B deal. Salespeople should do their due diligence—via ongoing contracting and clarification—to minimize surprises in the sales process, especially during proposal development and presentation.
Too often proposals are met with the response, “Let me think about it," because the buyer is hearing many of the proposal elements for the first time during the proposal presentation. Ouch… these five words can really derail a sale! Salespeople can eliminate these words from the sales process and improve their closing ratio by using a no-surprise proposal technique that clarifies these 5 things before they build and present a proposal:
1. Clarify the customer's problem or significant challenge.
2. Clarify the customer's expectations.
3. Clarify how much the customer is willing to invest based on ROI goals.
4. Clarify dates and timeline details.
5. Clarify information about the seller’s product and the solution.
Ongoing clarification during the sales process opens the door for a no-surprise proposal and the subsequent sale. In fact, this process transforms a proposal from a pitch to a confirmation of needs, details, ideas, investment, and expectations.
In essence, the buyer and seller become partners during the sales process. Partnerships tend to last longer than vendor/customer relationships. This fact should come as no surprise!