You’ve made our presentation, followed each step in our sales process and the prospect has said “Yes.” Great job! It’s over now right? Not a chance.
When we get to the step that the prospect agrees to purchase from us it’s tempting to sit back and relax. Don’t fall into that trap. This is the time when you need to give your sales process one last push to ensure the highest likelihood of success. When the prospect says “Yes” you need to ask one more crucially important question:
“What could go wrong at this point that would stop us from doing working together?”
You may be thinking that I’m crazy. Why would you want to do that; after all you’ve just gotten the approval you’ve been working for. Right? WRONG!
When the prospect says “yes” you’re almost home, although not quite. This is likely the time when the prospect will be most open with you – after all they have decided to do business with you. It’s also the time for you to find out what “hidden” obstacles remain. Maybe the obstacle has something to do with accounting, purchasing, maybe it’s just a matter of paperwork. Regardless of the obstacle, you as a professional sales person need to be aware of it so that you can assist the prospect in dealing with that obstacle effectively.
An informed sales person is an effective one. As a professional sales person, take the time to understand the entire decision making process and subsequent approval process(es) that your prospect needs to work through in order to finalize the sale with you.
Jonathan Mast on Sales, Marketing and the Internet