After many years in coaching I've discovered that, if you’re not dealing with terms and conditions in the beginning of the sales process (bringing up payment and investing in your solution from the prospect's perspective), it can be a really big problem.
Have you ever found yourself spending tons of time and energy on the sales process with a prospect and at the 11th hour they say “Oh, by the way, we pay a net 180.”
Could you have talked about that earlier?
Some companies do have these weird payment terms that you might be okay with, but your company might not be okay with it.
And you know the rule, right? If you're going to fight, fight up-front. Fight may be too strong of a word. But if you're going to have a discussion about terms and conditions, discuss it upfront. It's really about having an adult-to-adult conversation.
If you know, for example, that your company's policy is cash up-front. Then its cash up-front. There's no payment terms. There's no credit. There's no installments.
"You want to do it, it's cash up front."
Now don't say it exactly this way. You need to be really big on qualifying upfront to make sure it's the right fit.
There's no mystery when you get to the end of the process in buying from you that it’s cash up-front. You’ve very clearly said that early in the process.
In you're in your sales process, in your average sales process for an average client, where are you bringing up terms and conditions? In the Sandler Submarine, the textbook place for these conversations is right after the pain step.
You have pain, you have emotional involvement, you have a commitment to solving a problem. You should talk about budget at that point. There's no better time to do it. But the problem is, many sales people talk about the budget in a very vague way. Especially with terms and conditions. If you were to give yourself a grade, where are you at?
If it's not a problem, just disregard this blog post. But my fear is that if it hasn't been a problem, it may be in the future. It's not like it's going hurt you to be very clear on the way this stuff works. What’s your next step going to be to improve and bring up terms & conditions earlier in the process?