I closed two deals last week. Which is a lot for the kind of business I do. But before I explain how it happened, let me tell you what’s happened to me over the last three months, and how I learned about the importance to giving sales opportunities space.
Six weeks ago, my family and I moved to Chicago. And well, you know how complicated and distracting moves are. Especially cross-country moves.
And as you know, a move just doesn’t take place over a week. It takes months. Preparations. Hiring movers. Packing. Canceling utility services, changing cable and internet, mailing address changes, and in our case, selling two cars. Plus so much more.
Which gets me to my point. Let me assure you, I wasn’t focused 100% on my work over that time. And as it turns out, this was actually a good thing for the two deals in question.
I was always confident in the pursuit of these two deals. I had always felt a good vibe about both of them.
But pre-move, they just didn’t close. There was always the “Give me a few weeks because I am traveling…” Or the “I need a little time because I am knee deep in a few projects…”
Sometimes these are delay tactics. Sometimes they are legit (and a good salesman has to discern which).
Turns out, me going silent for a few months did WONDERS for these two potential deals.
Once the dust had settled from the move and I reengaged, the steps required to close the deals happened lightning fast. In fact, I barely had to say anything for the deals to close. By that time, it was “Ok, when can we start?”
Obviously, some lessons learned here.
Many prospects don’t respond well to consistent pressure from you. It may not necessarily hurt you in terms of the deal, but it doesn’t relax and expedite things.
And sometimes they just need time to process what you have to offer and contribute. If the sales opportunity has advanced to the point where the prospect might actually buy, and you can sense it, sometimes you just have to give them the time to gets things lined up internally to pull the trigger.
And that’s what happened to me. Both prospects last week were probably going to buy, as a result of my early work. But then, in the final stages of the sales cycle, I just had to let them do their thing to pull the trigger.
And for me, that’s what the distraction of my move enabled to happen.
But let me assure you, it’s a lesson learned for me that I will apply to other opportunities.
Now, full disclaimer here: Not all sales opportunities require this space. Some need to move quick. A good salesman, with good instincts, should know which opportunity requires space, and which do not.
He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist.
Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.