Runways, closing deals and making them stick
Closing deals is the primary focus of any salesperson. Closing deals is what gives you those juicy commission checks at the end of the month. It's what allows you more autonomy in the workplace and it breeds confidence in your ability to sell, even when the digital advertising prospects on the horizon don't appear too favorable. But if you are not putting down a sufficient runway with your clients, then while you may close the deal, it most likely will not end up sticking.
What is a runway?
A runway is the ability to lay out to your client what is going to happen at each step of the sales process and the expectations both you and the client should have for this campaign. If this is not established within the very first call, you are looking at a hard-fought battle down the line with the client if something goes awry during your advertising partnership.
You have a good product/service - be confident
If you have a product/service that you are proud to sell, like we do at Hivewyre, then you should have the utmost confidence when talking to prospects about the service you can provide their business. If your product is one that you know will benefit a company, then this, dare I say bravado, should come through on your first sales call. Not cocky, mind you, but confident and commanding the respect of the manager or decision maker(s) you are addressing.
It's one thing if you know what you're selling is a piece of crap, but if your service or product is of a high caliber and has proven success, then you don't need to tip-toe into a phone call, but rather go into the meeting zipping up your leather, strapping on your helmet and revving your engine to full throttle because what you are selling needs to be heard by this company.
You know more than the managers
While this may not be true 100% of the time, many instances, especially in digital marketing with a newer advertising option like we have at Hivewyre (a second-party ecommerce data coop), a salesperson will have more understanding of digital advertising than the person at the other end of the phone. You, as the sales rep, need to be the authority on your company's product and service and it's place within the digital marketing sphere.
If you've done your due diligence, know a company's pain points, understand the market and see how your product will fit into this business's overall advertising spend, then you should be able to confidently provide solutions to it's issues. You should not be putting out your feeble hands like Oliver Twist begging for another helping of food, hoping that the company gives you permission to make decisions they themselves don't have the insights anywhere near to the level that you yourself have amassed by being in this display advertising space for 8-10 hours a day, day-in and day-out.
Desperation may get you a date, but it won't be a long courtship.
Understand, when you haven't had a sale or a good lead for weeks you start getting edgy, right? But bending over backwards to every whim and want of a potential new client is just signs of desperation and a new client can sense it. You may feel great that you inevitably "closed a deal" with company X, but think about what you promised the manager - can the product or service you sell reach the goals of this company in the time span they dictated? Are you just hoping the sales campaign starts off with a bang? Did you explain to the client what to expect and what will most likely happen if you go the direction he/she wishes to proceed, instead of acquiescing to your campaign strategy based upon your vast knowledge and experience in this digital advertising space?
If you, who are the sales professional in these matters, allow the client to dictate what he/she "has to" "needs to" and "must see" for this advertising spend to be a success with zero push back coming from you, then you can be certain that this deal will most likely come to an ugly conclusion.
The power of "No"
Closing deals is not about being a "yes" person. Closing deals, the right way - the ones that will stick, is about being able to say "no" to a client's wants or expectations, if you know that your product and service cannot deliver on those metrics. You may think you are losing a deal by saying "no" to unreasonable requests by a client, but what you are actually doing is saving yourself from a bad deal, saving your (and your company's) reputation and changing the entire client-salesperson paradigm this company (and many others like it) are used to, for the better.
Saying "no" in a sales call maybe the hardest thing to speak, but one of the most game-changing utterances you can do for yourself as a successful account executive.