We’ve all been there. The deal is going well. The prospect is engaged in our dialogue. The conversation builds to the obvious conclusion where a proposal goes out the door. Then silence…………..

You can’t find the prospect with a search warrant! (thanks Jim)

It doesn’t need to be like this. There are many great sales processes but I prefer the Prime process highlighted in previous blog posts. But I’ve been using a delicate but important tweak to Prime. I call it my Key Dates For Completion move. As you diagnose and design the best solution based on responses from your prospect, clarifying expectations, you need to behave like a world class project manager. You need to act as if the key goal of all your conversations is NOT a PO but a happy successful customer who is operationally ready to use your technology/software/system.

How do we achieve that? We introduce a simple little table: Key Dates To Completion and attach it to our proposal having discussed it and got buy in to it from our sponsor/prospect.

Key Dates To Completion (terms will vary depending on the nature of goods and services)
  1. Formal approval from procurement
  2. PO received/cash received
  3. Production Commences or set up work completed
  4. Engineering validated and tested or subscription activated
  5. Shipped Date
  6. Installation Date
  7. Training
  8. Operational Start Date
By introducing this simple little step you change the tone of the dialogue from a sales based one to a project solution based one. You turn your sponsor into a team mate who is on your side. Now you have clarity over the date you are expecting to receive the PO. It’s part of a bigger picture. Your sponsor is now emotionally committed to bringing you that PO!