“You know, deals that take too long are never good ones. When a deal takes so long, they never work out.”
So spoke The Donald to Britain’s biggest selling daily before his way through Blighty in between this week’s NATO and Putin summits.
There’s a well worn trope of life’s patterns. “Lawyers beget lawyers, doctors beget doctors, entrepreneurs beget entrepreneurs” style observations stretch to Sales as well.
“Idiots pre-sales, idiots post-sale” being the most withering about a prospect-cum-client. And in my experience, to paraphrase My Boy Donny also describing the mirage of “the special relationship”, has ‘the highest level of accuracy’ to it.
In fact, you could swap in pretty much any trait and the phrase would endure.
How potential buyers behave is unlikely to alter between evaluation and use.
And so we also come to this truism on deal gestation.
So why are lengthier bids prone to problems?
Well, I feel the key lacking is one of urgency. Which interestingly does not really apply in Brexit’s case. There is a two-year deadline looming. Which might explain why the divorce deal was done already (much to the chagrin of MSM) and even now, according to the chief Brussels negotiator, an impressive 80% is agreed currently.
Without urgency deals stall, fatally.
Similarly, any procurement becoming bound up in endless cycles of either feature analysis or decision aversity can be doomed.
Often, examination of detail is a wonderful buying signal. Yet when it occurs without purpose or progress, you’re going to struggle.
A buying unit displaying analysis paralysis chokes itself and your ambitions. Likewise, when the choice between red and blue leads to meaningless discussions around purple, then mauve, then lilac, and suddenly a turquoisey-maroon, you know trouble has brewed.
Think of the perils of that “eternal prospect”. Sucking life, energy and precious time out of your selling.
Thankfully there are proven fallbacks.
Pursue the priority. Find those with real pain. Expose the risk of inaction.
Time for a length measurement across your pipe?
footnote, this “We Are …” vibe has Sales applications