In a recent discussion with a new client, the team did a great job of helping their customer identify the Issue, Impact, and Importance associated with a current challenge.  The team walked the client through the conversation about how they might solve their problem, and got agreement on price and next steps. I was proud of the job they did helping the customer realize their problem, and how our team could uniquely meet their needs.  I asked “so what did you do next?”

The head of sales proudly said “so if it’s costing you this much money, would you agree that it would be crazy to not sign the contract today?”  He observed that the tone of the meeting changed abruptly, and they are not returning calls, now. He asked “What happened?”

The client saw through a rather pedestrian sales technique, felt direct pressure, and questioned the team’s desire to help them solve their challenges. You cannot expect long-term success by pulling or pushing clients to the closing table. Simply asking “So, what would you like to do next” likely would have resulted in the customer sharing the steps to finalize the deal.

We and our prospects both carry NORTH ends of a magnet. If we try to pull them to a close, they go the other direction. If we gently stand neutral, we’ll reach the outcome together. Like a locked door, we can’t open it by pushing or pulling. We have to wait for the owner to unlock the door and let us in.

Do you have any similar stories where you tried to pull an unlocked door, so to speak?