Vision Group

Wrapping up 2010

This month's newsletter contains sales tips around finalizing opportunities that will close this year or could close this year with some help. We have provided this newsletter each year since 2005. Our clients have indicated it is helpful. We hope you find it useful as well.

Accelerate completion of Buyer Evaluations


With the year end rapidly approaching,there are some things you might consider accomplishing before 2010 is over.

If you are using an Evaluation Plan (EP) or Sequence of Events (SOE) on projects being evaluated, where are you in the completion of the outstanding items prior to the Pre-Decision Review Meeting? Are there steps in the evaluation plan which can be accelerated with mutual agreement between the prospect and you?

Would accelerating these steps create a situation of getting out of personal alignment with the prospect? If not, consider meeting with your prospects to review the current Evaluation Plan (EP) and potentially accelerating completion dates.

If you do not have an EP in place with existing clients, consider meeting with them to mutually determine what remaining steps need to be accomplished prior to their decision. Then aggressively manage the EP to its completion.

Clients tell us the use of a written Evaluation Plan provides benefits to them and the buyers.

You might mention these benefits in your discussion with buying committee members:

  • Provides buyers and sellers with a project plan to ensure a yes or no decision can be made within a certain time frame. (This assumes that dates are mentioned in the Evaluation Plan).
  • Provides time frames for getting personnel involved that may be needed before a decision can be finalized.
  • Helps to uncover everything buyers and sellers need to know to get to a decision.
  • Helps the buyers know what the seller needs to do to give the buyers the best cost, quality, and scope of a potentially complex solution.
  • Helps both parties know when the decision can be made. (No wine before it's time).
Is there a written Value or Cost Justification?

BloodMoney It is generally known that in current economic times, senior management tightens spending in many areas.

One of those areas is spending for new products and services. Studies have shown that greater importance is placed on cost justification prior to spending for new products and services.

If a written value or cost justification hasn't been accomplished yet with projects under evaluation, is it possible to hold a meeting to discuss and document VALUE soon (within a week or so)?

If meetings can be scheduled, go prepared to discuss the current operating environment of your client and what the value would be if appropriate POTENTIAL CAPABILITIES were available.

Clients tell us that the recognition of VALUE in doing something creates urgency to action. We have seen buyer Evaluation Plans accelerated dramatically once a client/prospect becomes convinced they can achieve significant value by taking appropriate ACTION.

IF THERE IS a written cost or value justification, consider reminding the client of that value and discuss how steps may be accelerated to more quickly help them achieve their goals.

Handling Risks That Buyers May Feel

TightRopeTowards the end of buy/sell cycles, buyers will feel some level of risk about buying from you, your company or buying at all (No Decision).

It is important that you not skip being sensitive to this human condition. Particularly in these economic times. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind:

In a previous newsletter, (Nov. 2008 newsletter), some do's and don'ts for selling in tougher economic times were discussed. Also:

  • We don't recommend negotiating with price as many of you who have attended our workshops know. Dropping price can increase buyer's concern about risk. If you are going to negotiate at the end of the cycle, use other factors besides price.
  • Provide committee members with references. Ensure that references are prepared to receive calls or visits from prospects. This can help lower buyer's concern about risk.
  • Demonstration of products or services. Ensure that showing your products or services are done for capabilities that have already been discussed with prospects. "Don't prove something that isn't needed."
  • If possible introduce key members of your organization to the buying committee members:
    • Appropriate company executives
    • Implementation/Installation personnel
    • Consulting personnel
    • Account management personnel
  • Appropriate case studies, white papers, 3rd party documents referring to your company.

There is always a need for sellers to be sensitive to what buying committee members are going through as they make their decisions.

Take a few minutes and listen to a narrated article we provided some time ago. It is ~8 minutes long, but, may help you in remaining sensitive to what buyers are feeling as they interact with you! Particularly, at or near the end of the buying cycle.


Please feel free to call or email if you would like to receive any of the suggested templates mentioned in this article. Good selling and consulting for the remainder of 2010 and Happy Halloween!

We'll be in touch in November 2010!


The Vision Group©
100 Parkers Lake Rd.
Wayzata, MN 55391


The Vision Group helps small & medium sized organizations optimize one of their most expensive business assets:

  • Sales representatives
  • Managers of Sales & Marketing
  • Professional Services
  • Support personnel
  • Product management
  • Marketing personnel