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Confirm, Verify, & Negotiate the Sale

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Question: want to avoid price only discussions while selling planned maintenance?

Answer: utilize the most important step in any sales process in any industry, which is the Confirmation and Verification step that gives the sales person the opportunity to negotiate!

Previously, we talked about the physical survey combined with collecting and reviewing of financial information, described as the “Building Performance Assessment.” We are now ready to facilitate the most important sales meeting or stage in the sales process which is the meeting to discuss recommendations and explore options (the Confirmation-Verification Meeting)!

Remember, at the conclusion of the First Structured Meeting, the Confirmation-Verification Meeting must be set up with a specific date and time (which is known as the “plan of action”). The collecting of several categories of financial information and the building survey should have been completed as soon as possible after the First Structured Qualifying Meeting.

There is a very specific format for the Confirmation/Verification stage of the sales process and it generally will include:

Discussing the needs, pain and business objectives obtained in the first structured meeting

Reviewing of the options and recommendations that are to be presented formally in a proposal

Discussing the savings or cost avoidance of the recommendations with benefit statements

Gaining agreement on the final proposal details and specific recommendations likely approved

Presenting the financial justification in a simple chart and discussing the price of your options

Negotiating the deal!

Again, the Confirmation/Verification Meeting or (phone call for smaller maintenance agreements), should be set up in the First Structured Meeting and be the primary meeting date and time set up as the “Plan of Action” in that first meeting. We ask for the confirmation meeting by stating that we would like to explore all options and discuss the recommendations we come up with in order to obtain the prospect’s feedback or input.

Let’s script this:

“We would like to set up a time to meet with you for about a 45 minutes or so to discuss the options that you will have and any recommendations we come up with. We can discuss the costs, money saving opportunities, and specifics at that time and review any changes to the program that will be presented as final agreement documents.”

“I would like to set up a time to meet with you and anyone else that may have feedback or input related to moving forward with our recommendations. Can we meet late next week or the following week after our building assessment (survey and collecting of building operating costs) to explore all of the options you will have?”

“I’m certain you will have some options to review before we move forward and you can help us prioritize these options, review our pricing, and I can place the recommendations in a formal document soon after that meeting. May we meet two weeks from today?”

The opportunity to negotiate during the Confirmation/Verification Meeting is based on the fact that we only verbalize our pricing for any options that we present. Rounded up numbers are very beneficial for this discussion and allow for feedback and negotiating. How do we negotiate? Should the prospect be “shocked” at the price of our options due to our thorough approach, we want to ask “what would we omit?” or “what budget number did you have in mind?” and begin the discussion and questions about how thorough and comprehensive our recommendations are and that we would have to omit hours or specific different offerings that may not solve their problems if we cut costs?

Negotiating is an art and role plays for negotiating are essential in any sales training format. It takes practice to position, ask questions, present financial justification (based on collected building operating costs), and negotiate in good faith with any prospect or client. Please take time to thoroughly understand the stage or step in the process related to Confirming Needs, Pain and Business Objectives and Verifying Financial Information. The use of this one step or stage in any selling system can completely change how successful you are in selling and the ability to gain higher margins!

James Graening

Posted In: ACCA Now, Sales & Marketing

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