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Buyers are liars

Thoughts on this? Been negotiating a deal for over 30 days, client loves me(or at least pretends they do), discount approved for exactly what they wanted, verbal commit to sign the deal, DocuSign goes out, no questions but come back and says they're committed to doing the deal but something else came up and we need to hold off another 30 days while we solve this other issue. Can we have an extension? After poking around I find out what the other problem is and it's not a solution my company provides nor do my competitors so the deal is not lost. Customer asks for an extension. I get an extension. It's now time for that extension to expire and now they're asking for another 30 days. Obviously, I still want to get the deal done and was counting on it for October then pushed to November and now pushing to December. What would your next step be? 
🧠 Advice
📈 Closing
😤 Conflict Resolution
24
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+6
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
Get executive alignment on this deal. Pull your VP into a call with their executive and have them has out why this is delayed. You need a commitment from a higher up at the client that they are going to see this through. 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Seconded. This absolutely works. Sometimes you need to go over their head. This is the respectful way of doing so.
MCP
Valued Contributor
+4
Sales Director
This won’t make things go faster, but it will help put things into perspective. If they need 3-6 months, respectfully pull the offer and tell them you’ll be happy to revisit at the time that they’re ready. Then maintain persistent contact to ensure they stay on track.
End of line.
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+6
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
It also gets your VP off of your back because they have insight into the deal and open lines of comms 
Fi
FinanceEngineer
Opinionated
+3
Channel Sales Director
This is the first step. I would also see if there is a way to get extended billing terms as a way to sign faster, and then have less pressure since it is done and just needs to be paid for at a slightly later date.

I am going through something similar with a deal that is 8 months old. Finally down to the signiture, and it is delayed because of massive turnover in dev and legal with the customer. Still pushing, but I get it.
ju
justatopproducer
Politicker
+4
National Consultant
Agreed, its funny how someone with a Chief, or President in their title asks the same questions you probably already did.. and then get a different answer. 

Ask for the commitment in writing, with a signature, on your agreement. Tell them to post date it. If they can't then you know the deal still "can be lost"
MCP
Valued Contributor
+4
Sales Director
It’s all BS. They know they’ll get the price they want on their time, and so do you. If you don’t honor it, they’ll keep shopping until they get that number and you’ll move down the vendor list because of it. Stop trying to force a customer to buy now for your benefit, that’s a bad start to the relationship. Partners would never do that, they would understand and accept that the other party moves at their speed for their reasons and they would ask how they can help get things back on track.
Harsh truth time. The reality is, your solution clearly isn’t priority for their business, and as the sales rep, you should know what the priorities are as a part of qualification. Seems to me that’s your learning point here. Additionally, it’s clear you need more pipeline so you’re not ever relying on any single deal. Always ask what could possibly go wrong, and understand that your champion isn’t always privy to those things.
Apologies for the directness, but thems the facts and sales people need to be accountable.
End of line.
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
The truth hurts sometimes, but its the truth. I tend to agree with everything here
UserNotFound
Politicker
+10
Mid Market Manager
You bring value with your comments… but ending everything with “end of line” is so pompous, I can tell by this thread alone you must be a current or aspiring sales manager.
MCP
Valued Contributor
+4
Sales Director
I am the master control program. Your user is not found. I shall have to deploy cyber security protocols.
End of line.
heronious
Good Citizen
+1
Senior Account Executive
worth trying to uncover the unspoken objection though. I've had deals come in with similar circumstances becuase there was political infighting and we needed to understand those dynamics and make a play that created urgency to get it in.
Fo
FormerStartupJobHopper
Big Shot
+7
AE
Agreed with everyone else. Offer him one more extension but you need to get something out of it.

"Mr Prospect I had to do X to get this approved and getting extensions without specifics is very difficult. I very much want to work together, what I need from you to extend this discount is to get on a call where you pull in your CTO and I pull in my (insert title of your boss) and we can hash out how to arrive at a signature together. Otherwise, my pricing team won't go for it."

You can hold this back for the meeting but with Thanksgiving coming up I'd also add:

"I also know with the holidays coming up how challenging it can be to reach higher ups who are trying to unwind and spend time with their famililes. For this reason, our extension is valid through Wednesday 11/24, and this is our best and final offer."
si
sickofthetoxic
Politicker
+7
down voters are marketing spies
Yes, this is the correct way. Ask for reasons, don't be shy it won't sink the deal. Get the executives to chat. At least this way you can get a commit.

Mjollnir
Politicker
+8
Account Executive
lol this reminds me of an episode in 'House' where he rants about patients being liars. He finds out how to help the patient by discovering his real pain point, as you will
10XQLA
Surgical Sales Specialist
To be totally honest with you, start disciplining yourself to ask "hard" questions like what's going on with the stall??? Value your time more than the customer does... You've done everything possible and made every concession they requested demand the order and if they stall get closure and move on... Flex your muscles.

so
soft.hearted.sales
Senior Sales Consultant, Surgical
One lesson that's been impactful throughout my career is appreciating that the customer's timelines have absolutely nothing to do with our quotas. What we often think is reasonable may not apply to every customer. Sometimes, believe it or not, they just need more time. And sometimes this doesn't align with our organization's goals (our quotas), but is true nonetheless.

There's obviously interest in what you're offering and it doesn't seem like the opportunity is taking up much of your time (you're able to spend time searching for other problems to solve in the meantime), so why walk away?

There's nothing wrong with pursuing others within their organization to expedite things, but not at the expense of your relationship with those that trust you within that organization.

I would continue injecting as much humanity into your dealings with these people as possible. A mentor of mine will always say, "People hate being sold to, but they love to buy." 

Be human, be honest and don't let your targets influence your behaviour. Play the long game. Even if this one doesn't work out, your reputation will thank you.
SaaSniper
Tycoon
+8
Enterprise Account Executive
Get real with them, have that gut check call. They want the deal, you want the deal, this is where the relationship gets it done. 

Had something similar with a deal v. our top competitor recently. They pushed out signatures 2x, and then as the end of Q3 was approaching I had to pull my champion aside and set it straight...you want the platform, I want give you the platform, i fought to land where you needed, can you fight to push this through before "time/event"...She went to CFO, had it a 300k contract signed 5hrs later that night. 

If you're not comfortable having that conversation, you're likely not at a high enough level DM wise, or the relationship isn't as strong as you think it is.

On a lighter note: some ancient tactics like offering a final give to terms/price, holding your "top" CS resources, etc. help expedite things. Hate to negotiate against ourselves, but sometimes you just want to get it off of the table (VP should get this).

BRING IT HOME!
JohnnyDamone
Fire Starter
+2
AE Inside Sales
100% agree. Gotta level with people sometimes. We're giving you a discount, with the condition it gets signed. I already told my VP of this.

If you do not sign it by this time, my VP will think you do not want the deal, and then its out of my hands.

^I've used that one before. But seriously, if they don't sign they're just d*cking around on the op
GrizzleMcThornBody
Arsonist
+12
EVP - RevOps
I’d say last extension and ask for the real decision maker. If he keeps pushing it off find out who is making him delay it and why.
Then if he comes back after this extension fails he pays full price and it’s take it or leave it.
Li
LilSaaSX
Executive
+4
AE
I’ve had deal review with my VP last week but we haven’t set up a call with the client yet. I’m talking to the CTO and keep asking for a call with the CEO. CTO has authority to sign the deal but keeps dicking around. I’m thinking of holding at the current extension and not allowing another one and like you said Grizz full price after this. Thanks y’all
Diablo
Politicker
+7
AE
Absolutely, just pull your superior on the call, if possible, who can explain the client that you quoted him the special price (that you don't do for others) after going through an approval process because you told  reason 1.2.3. about clients. Generally quote expires in 30 days but 90 days is challenging and try to get an assurance if they would sign by this month. If not forget the love and screw the discount. 
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
Always!

Just remember the Jocko way, ALL excuses/objections are LIES. ALL OF THEM.

Jk, not all of them some of the objections are coming from the truth but still, we need to attack each one as if they were lies
Li
LilSaaSX
Executive
+4
AE
Nice perspective MCP but unfortunately not accurate. I actually don’t need the deal at all this month or this quarter and have plenty of pipeline. I’ve already closed my Q4 and annual target last month. If I had it my way and if I was looking for it to benefit me closing it in December would be better but best would be to close this deal in 2022. The folks that are pushing me to get this deal done now is my manager, my director, head of sales etc. Internal processes have changed significantly at my company’s deal desk and the discount I got for my customer was based on signing last month. I did get an extension but if they don’t sign in November then the price will go up in December which was already clearly stated to me by our internal teams. This particular customer of mine is already a customer and this would be part 2 of expansion with them before I pass it to the AM. I’m trying to do my customer a solid by getting them to sign this month but again for my benefit would be next year. He lives 10 minutes away from me so I could meet up with him at any point. Appreciate your perspective but things aren’t always what they seem
Li
LilSaaSX
Executive
+4
AE
Also I am speaking to the decision maker. CTO and CEO. I don’t waste my time with people that don’t call the shots. I leverage them as champions of course until I get to the DM but I was fortunate to start this partnership with the CTO
VincentAdultman
Opinionated
+3
Enterprise Account Executive
Sounds like way too many gives for no gets.
Li
LilSaaSX
Executive
+4
AE
Exactly. I’ve never had a deal play out this way especially considering the trust I’ve built with them
UserNotFound
Politicker
+10
Mid Market Manager
I’m one of the few sales people that would rather lose a deal than look like a liar. If I tell you pricing expires in November- you bet your ass that pricing changes come Dec 1. Of course, we’re always willing to make or fight for extensions. But those have to stop at some point, and once I draw a line in the sand it’s there.
I keep my word on both the good and the bad.
I think brining in an executive to help with the conversion also shows that you’ve both engaged a decision maker from your org and have fought as hard as you can for your prospect. Good move.
Sa
SalesSavage4Ever
Contributor
Account Executive
I love this line of questioning....

"Has anything changed since we last spoke on (date of conversation)?"

"Is there any reason why this deal does not get done in (Month)?" 

"Cool, if I send a DocuSign to you today/tomorrow when can we expect it back?"

This covers all your bases.  Also agree on the exec alignment thing but that does not always land well in practice as it sounds in brainstorming. 
heronious
Good Citizen
+1
Senior Account Executive
this happens often.  Sometimes the buyer has not asked for help from their own company or does not understand their own internal processes/ has tried to shortcut their process.  If you haven't been multi-threaded in the deal it's hard to go over that person's head without offending alienating them, but if you insisted in Having an Executive Sponsor and getting direct access to that person you should be able to pick up the phone and explain the situation.  they should be able to get the deal unstuck for you or help you find out what's up. Sometimes your Champion might be embarrassed to tell you they fucked up in their process, becuase they rarely know how to buy unless they are in IT or procurement and buy all sorts of stuff.  
RunDownTheStairs
Valued Contributor
+4
Enterprise Account Executive
Sounds like you have aligned with a champion and not the economic buyer. 

Depends on how bad you want the deal. If you're at quota, walk away. It's still early in November, so if they ask for 30 days, give them 15. 
sa
salesboomer
Senior Sales Executive
It happens to all of us.  No, when we agree on terms that are favorable to my customer I put a clear "Pricing Expires" note on the contract.  Be clear that you are happy to re-negotiate new terms if not signed.  Not personal or emotional.  It's just business.
DataSlangah
Politicker
+7
SAE
I would just bring it back to your initial facts that you uncovered in your Disco.  What about this is important you?  What problems is this going to solve?  And what problems this solves now.  Ask if priorities have changed.  And then recalibrate.  Deals push because bigger priorities come up.  The squeekier wheel will get the grease.  
Li
LilSaaSX
Executive
+4
AE
Thanks for all the help and support y’all! Deal signed this morning to start deployment next month
Do
Dolf_Daddy
Contributor
Head of SmartStart, SAE
Uncover the hidden objections. Are you speaking with the actual decision maker? Have you gotten a solid timeline? 
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