Dealing with Decision Inertia
First it was “Before Xmas”; now it’s “In the New Year”.
Next it will be “Before Easter”….
Customers making decisions to work with us seem to use these events as delay tactics….They’re used as unexpected hurdles making it difficult to sign off.
It’s not like Xmas, New Year or Easter for that matter come unexpectedly or at random times of the year. To my knowledge, Xmas comes every year around 24th-26th December and New Year is usually celebrated 31st December and 1st January. And yet, we as sales people accept these as legitimate reasons when in fact they’re not really.
So, it’s time to stop simply accepting it and begin heading it off at the pass. Because we can count on these events with absolute regularity, we need to use them to OUR advantage and start to turn the tables.
Look, I’m happy for you to steal some of my ideas to use Xmas and/or New Year as YOUR deadline for any quote, proposal, discussion document issued from September to November.
Here are some frameups I prepared earlier that you can use to set expectations, own the process and inject some urgency:
“So that we can get this actioned before Xmas, I’ll need your written approval by end October, is that doable?”
“Because you’ve asked for this now, I’ll need the agreement signed by the first week of December; Xmas is right in the middle and I’ll need December and early Jan to develop the program so we’re ready to go mid January….does that make sense?”
“In order to ensure we can deliver this to your timeframe, can I just ask if this is to be implemented before Xmas or just after New Year?” (if New Year: “Great, then I’ll need it signed by the end of the first week of December so we make sure there’s time for development as Xmas/NY is right in the middle)…
If before Xmas: “Well we’d better get moving now so we can meet that timeframe…how soon can you get this back to me if I send it today? I can’t start until I receive it and I’m conscious of this time of the year…”
Take this time of the year away from clients to use as an excuse and turn it into your best strategy to gain commitment.