Beware Of Closing The Wrong Deal
As a business owner, whether you like it or not, sales is the lifeblood of your company.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in or what your business model is – if sales are not consistent then you won’t be making money, your growth will stagnate and you will not get where you want to go.
As Mark Cuban says – “Sales Cures All”.
Whilst I believe strongly that the ability to close deals is key, the phrase itself ‘close deals’ suggests something final – the job is done, the contract is signed and the money is in the account. True.
But in reality, nothing has really been closed, the relationship with your new customer has only just begun.
What really happens when we close a deal, is we open a relationship. Hopefully, a longterm one based on great service and continued repeat business.
The problem is, that the closing mentality, whilst effective at getting deals across the line can have bad consequences.
It can result in cutting corners – maybe a salesperson will promise too much to the client just to get the deal across the line which creates a disparity in expectations vs. results later down the line.
Just as worse, it can result in signing clients that aren’t a good fit for your business.
Something I was told several times by seasoned business owners when seeking advice for starting my own business, was to watch out for ‘bad clients’.
At the time, it didn’t really resonate with me. How could we have a bad client? We deliver great service and get paid.
It’s a win/win. Right?
The closing mentality can cloud your judgement. The fact is that not all clients are equal – some will be a great fit and others should be avoided at all costs.
Deciding whether a client is a good fit or not is a subjective decision, but I believe that most people will know in their heart whether or not they should really be partnering up with them.
Here are some early warning signs and things to watch out for:
Unreasonable requests – “Sure, we’ll do that”
Disrespectful comments – “It’s just part of the job. The client is always king”
Unrealistic expectations – “Let’s put in extra work to make sure they get what they want”
Lack of patience – “I’ll work an extra hour every day to cater for this client’s needs”
Late payments – “We’ll just have to re-invest the cashflow next month instead”
These are some of the things you might tell yourself when rationalising your decisions in the name of getting a deal across the line.
To add to this, the closing mentality can create more stress and frustration for you, the business owner – by taking on too many clients at one time in the name of sales and revenue. This can actually be detrimental over the longterm.
At the end of the day, your service is what will keep those clients coming back month after month, year after year. Taking on more capacity than you have available may be great in the short term for your bank account, but it will only dilute your ability to serve each client to the max and over the longterm be detrimental.
In reality, by taking these shortcuts, you are not benefitting your business at all. In fact, you are costing your business time and money. And you are costing your own mental wellbeing.
The thing is, that when you close a deal, things are far from closed. It is only just beginning.
All good business people need to be good salespeople. There is a certain level of pride you get when you can take a deal across the line. But it’s important to remember the fact that you are not closing anything, you are opening it!
If you started a business, you started it because you like to live on your own terms. If you have a great service, there is an abundance of customers out there.
So get out of the closing mindset and into the business of opening relationships. I promise it will pay out dividends over the longterm.
To hear a podcast I did about this topic amongst others, with Global Leadership Coach Alex Ihama visit https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/stop-closing-sales-start-opening-sales-with-alex-ihama/id1427046458?i=1000417826503&mt=2