Here’s the text of an email I was shown the other day. It was sent by an estate agent, trying to sell a commercial plot.
I am happy to meet you on site at a time that suits and will bring along a copy of the floor plans and salient lease terms etc
The recipient was thrown into a little bit of a spin. They did not like the bit at the end about the “terms”.
So I explained how this was a sales trick. It is designed to prompt a buying signal.
Most reps believe that when you get the prospect talking about the paperwork, you are homing in on the prized signature.
Even more so, when you get your people to talk with their people about them. Committing such resource is a sure sign of purchase intent, right?
Many sales teams also believe that it pays to introduce the contracts as early as possible. When they appear at the death, the deal can easily slip. More people involved. None of whom have been involved before. Big titles, big egos, big need to meddle.
Then there are those more formalised bid structures. When a salesperson close merely means everything gets handed to Legal. Your involvement frustrated to cease after the BAFO; best and final offer.
Let’s not forget the other end of the scale. The simplicity of a price list doubling up as the order form.
In the case I witnessed, if it was a deliberate tactic – and that’s not a given here – then it kind of worked. You enquire, you need to steel yourself to be set to sign up … eventually.
I’d make three direct finishing remarks. Always have your paperwork with you. Present it as matter-of-fact (and early) as possible. And where we’re talking lengthy smallprint, consider early questions that gently ask, “who likes to go through the agreement docs?”