David Sandler said, “our emotional attachment to an opportunity increases exponentially the longer it’s in our funnel.” This emotional attachment can send our sale sideways, especially if new people enter the process when we’re close to the finish line.
When new people, especially decision maker, enter our sales process near the finish line we can have a “stranger danger” moment, which causes us to say and do things that aren’t in our best interest, like ignore our primary contact(s) or make concessions to the decision maker we hadn’t offered previously because we’re emotionally attached to wrapping up this opportunity.
To avoid unintentionally sending a sale sideways when new people enter late in the process follow these four best practices.
- Slow down to speed up – in Flux, April Rinne’s first superpower for living in constant change is “run slower.” This is great advice when new people enter our sale late. We will be tempted by our emotional attachment to the opportunity to speed up now that the decision maker is involved, but that will be detrimental to successfully closing this opportunity (unless requested by the new person, see best practice #3 below). By shifting our mindset to “new person, new process” we will slow down, which creates more rapport with our contacts who are used to pushy salespeople trying to force deals to close when new contacts enter late.
- Get help from primary contact – whether coach or champion, we’ve built a lot of rapport with our primary contact(s) o this point. Asking for their support in catching up the new people, instead of us taking on the “expert” role, gives us a chance to observe the internal relationship dynamics of our prospect company and also provides us an opportunity to gently fill in any gaps or oversights our primary contact makes during their debrief without breaking rapport.
- Figure out why new person is there – are they excited to meet us? Did they have five minutes free up in their schedule and they thought they’d drop in? Are they getting involved because the urgency to resolve their issue(s) quickly increased? Could be any or none of those but presuming why the new person entered is detrimental. Before we engage with the new person to find out why they’re here, best to confirm with your primary contact(s) that you can focus on the new person for a few minutes otherwise they might feel excluded, and our rapport would be damaged (e.g. “Primary Contact, thanks for catching up New Person. Are you okay if I ask them a few questions about what they hope to accomplish in this conversation before we dive back to our agenda?”).
- Agree to clear next steps with all new and existing contacts – vagueness delays and often eventually kills sales. Creating clarity with all of our contacts around how the sale will progress from this conversation, what involvement will each person have and reconfirming when our prospect needs to have a solution implemented keeps us and our prospect on the same path and keeps momentum going in our sale.
Our number one competitor in sales is us. Let’s not unintentionally send sale sideways when new people enter, at any point.
Until next time… go sell something.