One "sales rule" I'll never forget
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Ever feel a deal get ripped away when you were certain it’d close?
I did, constantly, especially when I first sold software.
Years back, I committed a deal to the team, the biggest of my young career.
I invited a mentor, Luke, to the “closing” meeting I’d set with Jim, the buyer.
“Sorry Bobby, my COO asked we put the project on hold. Let’s regroup next quarter,” said Jim.
Confidence and air left my body. Luke stared at me stunned.
“That makes sense. We haven’t included her in the project to this point. How is she evaluating it?” I asked.
Jim explained she wanted time to test the product herself, review the proposal, and make a decision. It was the last day of the quarter.
“Ok. I’ll set you up with my account so you can test with her later today. Think that might work?”
“I don’t know,” he said.
I’d love to tell you I met with the COO and said something so compelling, so incredible, she immediately signed the deal, thanked me then offered to meet for lunch.
None of that happened.
Instead, Jim met with her. He showed her the product, the proposal, and shared all the work he and I did evaluating the project and preparing to launch across their 5,000 colleagues.
Hours later, the signed deal landed in my inbox.
Only months prior, during a team meeting, Luke said something I’ll never forget.
“You have to find someone who cares more about the project than you do.”
Jim became my favorite customer and a trusted partner. He helped other customers, often consulting on launch strategy, best practices, and hardware solutions.
Looking back, he was just as disappointed during that meeting.
The deal was ripped away from both of us.
And because we had each other, a partnership built on trust and alignment, it took only a few hours to rip it back.
When we embrace practice, develop awareness, and align our efforts, we can rise above the deal.
We can live #quotaless.
Thanks for reading. This week’s Quotaless Podcast features a conversation with Nate Nasralla on helping champions just like Jim. It’s one of my favorite episodes to date.
Let me know what you think if you feel called to give it a listen.