From The Windshield Diaries: Using Stories to Move the Customer from Concept to Close (Part 2)


Customers who delay action delay their positive results

Customers who delay action delay their positive results

Every path at one time or another will have a puddle. Every sales cycle will have twists and turns during the salesperson’s journey to the close. The twists and turns are deemed as horrible surprises that can be the death of a sale for the inexperienced or unprepared sales executive while the high-performing salesperson will calmly and seamlessly adjust their game plan, adapt their presentation and when necessary call an audible. 

Common Sense Data

As Art drove his rental car to a closing meeting in the south, he reflected on the massive deal on the west coast which contributed significantly to him being named salesperson of the year and being named to the company’s Sales Hall of Fame for his annual sales performance. However, like most high performers Art was not thinking about how great HE was but rather what great lessons he learned by watching his boss   weave a relatable life story that played a significant role in the success outcome. Art also thought about the meeting that was about to take place with his Texas client. Art felt confident that he was in a great position to get the deal inked because he had completed a business analysis for the customer which would reveal a return on investment of $695,000 per year. He prepared the contracts, intentionally left his cell phone calculator in his rental car & memorized three numbers on the way to the meeting which were, 8,760, 525,600 & 1,536,000

The Reverse ROI

During the meeting, Art reviewed with his client the overall ROI, which was based on profit growth, process growth, & performance growth that the customer would realize by using Art’s solutions and services. After the presentation, the client revealed that while he was impressed with the ROI and he also believed the ROI was conservative he had several distinct expansion & acquisition projects that were taking a bulk of his and his team's focus and time. The client indicated that because of the work overload the organization would have to put off signing the contract for another 7-8 months or until the distinct projects were completed.  Art asked his client to calculate the following on the customer’s calculator; take $695,000 and divide it by each of the numbers he had memorized earlier. Art then requested that the client writes down the answers to each equation and read them back to Art. The client responded:

$695,000/8,760 =79.33
$695,000/525,600 =1.33
$695,000/ 31,536,000 =.22

The Close

After he received the figures from the client, Art explained what they represented. “The 1,536,000 represents the sum number of seconds in a year,525,600 is the number of minutes, and 8,760 representsthe number of hours in a year. Based on the data you provided me it costs you .22 cents every second, $1.33 every minute and $79.33 every hour you delay making the decision to sign the contracts. Five minutes later the client signed the deal.

Leadership Tip: Coach your team to use reverse Return On Investments (RROI). A reverse ROI accentuates how much it is costing the customer to delay their buying decision.

Sales Tip: Technology can sometimes be a detriment to proper planning and visualization to make the meeting productive and fruitful. Art’s strategy to “leave his calculator in his car intentionally” was the snowflake that turned into a snowball, which in turn became an avalanche of momentum towards the contracts being signed

Sales & Life lesson: Time is the one thing we can never get back. The most successful people utilize their time wisely, productively and with purpose. 

GROWTH EXERCISE for Management & Sales Executives

Pick three proposals which are currently being considered by your prospects and determine the following:

1)      How can your company’s products or services provide profit growth for the prospect?

2)      How can your company’s products or services improve employee retention for your prospect

3)      Howcan your business’s goods or services enhance the buying experience for the client’s customers?

4)      How can your company’s products or services improve the “brand” of the prospect?

5)     Establish a dollar value on the above areas & the reverse ROIwhere possible.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and results at