One of the most common phrases sales meetings end with that go nowhere is “we’ll get back to you”. As a former buyer of corporate services, I can tell you a few reasons why I used to use it and some ways you can avoid hearing it at your next sales meeting.
The Big Stall
One of the biggest reasons why I used to use this phrase (so cliche’d that I’ve likened it to a disease-hence the title of the blog!) was to stall. I was stalling because I wanted to shop around or I wasn’t sure what my colleagues in the buying group thought. There were other times where I just didn’t want to buy but wasn’t brave enough to tell the vendor that right away. Either way, it was a great stall. Now what are some ways to avoid hearing “we’ll get back to you”?
Right People In the Room
There are two kinds of corporate buyers you will have in any scenario. One is the decision maker around the budget of the buy and the other is the one around the use of the buy. I call one the Budget and the other the Authority. Nowadays, these positions are shared in large numbers of buyers but you need to have at least one of each in the room. Otherwise you’ll get a firm “we’ll get back to you” because the people you’re talking to are not the complete decision makers.
Agreement On The Problem and The Cost
You’ll never hear “We’ll get back to you” at the end of a sales meeting if you can get agreement with the executives in the room. Clarity will then lead to the realization of the cost of the problem. Establishing these two things are game changers.
Outline Your How
Once you’ve gone through the steps of problem and cost of problem definition, the next thing you need to do to avoid hearing the dreaded “we’ll get back to you” is to outline your process of how you’ll be helping them with time increments. For example, you can say “we’ll start with an assessment which will take 2 weeks, then create a custom designed solution which will take a month and implement through the next 2 months.” Having a crystal clear road map will help get them closer to the ‘yes’.
Co-Create Your SOW
Once you’ve got agreement on the problem and your solution, the next step is to talk about price and scope of work. Instead of drafting an agreement or a proposal on your own and emailing it, I teach my clients to do it with the decision makers’ input on the spot, in the sales meeting. Statistics show that sales meetings where price and budget are talked about in the first meeting always close faster. That way, you’ll never have the ‘itis’.
Never Leave Without This
Last advice is that don’t ever leave a sales meeting without a next meeting date. If there are too many parties or steps to agree on the next date, get them to agree on a date to get a date. For example, you can say “would it be ok if I call next Monday at 2pm to see what date you landed on with the team as a next step?”. When you leave without a date, you can be sure that they’ll be telling you that they have to “get back to you”.
Apply these tips and tricks and never have the ‘itis’ again.