Friday, July 07, 2006

To close, a purchaser must be ready, willing and able

Why do so many forecast sales never reach closure? Usually, it's because one or more of these three criteria has not been satisfied. (Source: "The Selling Fox" by Jim Holden, an excellent resource for improving sales effectiveness. Holden's training programs are also very good.)

Ready - the purchaser must have evaluated all possible options to solve his problem

Willing - the purchaser must have decided that your solution is the preferred option

Able - the funding must be available to make the purchase

This advice sounds trite. Yet so many deals that companies have counted on to make a quarterly or yearly number have fallen short because the salesperson or the leadership did not fully answer these three simple questions.

Especially the third. Please, please, please--don't ever lose a sale because you didn't ask the third question.