I think the best theory lies in recognising that we are all human, we each have our own style and way of communicating and that each one of us thrives on respect and honesty. We are well aware when someone is trying to persuade us or push us into a decision we may not be ready to make. Nobody appreciates feeling like they are being tricked into a purchase decision.
The best way to close a deal? Simply ASK for it.
Now, that might sound simple in theory, but when I say ‘ask for it’, I don’t mean ask for the $50,000 cheque. Asking for the sale, is really about asking for their commitment to go to the next stage, until the next stage becomes… the signed contract!
Not sure how that might look? Here are some questions to help you find the approach you are most comfortable with in trying to secure a partnership.
- Do you feel you have enough information to make a decision regarding the proposal we have presented to you?
- Most of our sponsors want to get things moving in order to get the most visibility right away. We have everything in place to support you to do this. How do you feel about moving forward?
- We know this partnership will put you in front of people you are not currently doing business with, is there anything else that we need to cover off before we move to the next stage?
- We feel very comfortable with how this relationship is developing and are ready to commit to a long term partnership. How do you feel about that?
- We are keen to make sure we understand whether everything is shaping up the way it needs to for you to be involved. Do you feel that we are close to what you need here?
- It is clear that we both feel there is an alignment between our organisations. What do you need in order to move forward with this?
- If we were to imagine the very best case scenario, what would the next steps look like for you?
Feel free to mash them up and make up your own. The most important thing? Don’t forget to do it!
The key is to remain open and transparent. Keep communicating about your needs and timeframes, and being curious and respectful about your prospective partners desired outcomes. The longer it takes to build the relationship, the stronger and more sustainable the partnership will be.