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Client attempting to back out, after signing

Has anyone dealt with a scenario like this before?


Dealing with a global director in procurement. We engaged starting 7 months ago on building out an enterprise system for his company. Went through negotiations, dealing with their GC, lots of redlines, meetings with VP of procurement to start planning training sessions.


Signed contract in early March. 2 weeks go by and the procurement team starts to ask questions basically about why we did this deal... that seems to be something they should have covered in the 7 months of negotiations. The platform is for their core business. My take is an internal stakeholder got cold feet and they are scrambling for cover.


Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Trying to keep this deal and work on upsell potential through this.

0
salesnerd
WR Officer
+16
Head of Growth
Yeah, this sucks. I've been there before. In this instance you have a few options, but obviously your goal is to preserve the account. 

Here's how I would handle it: you essentially have to restart the sales cycle. You can either pause invoicing or keep the billing going, up to your org. I would start with the initial conversations and how you won the deal in the first place, going back to the internal stakeholder and reminding them exactly what you're solving. I would then go to the procurement team and show them why it makes sense to continue with the implementation.

You want to resolve this in an amicable manner because it'll make getting paid easier, but if you CAN'T, know that the law is on your side here. They signed a contract and agreed to your services.
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+5
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
I’ve moved into “reselling and planning implementation mode” to keep the relationship. Thanks for the advice! 
Stringer
Arsonist
+8
SDR
Dang. The best thing you can do, keep them happy. If they want to leave, don't create roadblocks. The last thing you want is to tell them they have to pay or can't get out of the contract because they signed it. They likely know your future customers and burning this bridge, will burn you. 
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+5
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
This is good advice. Thanks! It is a relatively insular industry, so I do want to be careful to not burn a bridge today. I’m also balancing there’s at least 6 or 7x in upsell potential. 
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+5
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
An update here. Today they asked to back out with the caveat “we know we have no leverage” 

I countered and said they should go back and think about a way we can make this work and offered to help change management and drive adoption, which is above and beyond what we generally do. Remains to be seen what the next step is. 
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