Saturday, December 29, 2007

Project Closure

The Final Step: Project Closure

This is the grand finale, the big daddy of the steps and the most sensitive stage of the sales cycle. Every word that you say might have an impact on the client's decision thus it is very important to weigh your words. You have to be very tactful here. A lot of clients try to push in a lot of extra features or functionalities beyond the original scope of work you have discussed, while promising to award the project to you. The first thought that comes to mind is that they are trying to play dirty pool and you maybe right. But then again its general human psychology to ask for more than their money's worth. So what do you do? You are in horns of dilemma whether to increase the project pricing and make the smile on your boss' face wider or agree to deliver the additions without increasing the project pricing to ensure closure. And this is the time when you start wondering why you chose marketing and sales as your career in the first place. Decisions! Decisions!

Another type will try to negotiate with you over the pricing after everything has been settled! In this case, find out if you can afford to give a discount. If not, inform the client clearly but in a subtle way that you cannot reduce the price further.

If you have reached thus far, the client is quite likely to go with you. If you increase the project pricing, the client is likely to tell you that he is already stretching his budget with the current pricing but still have decided to go with you since you seem like a good company and have been very professional in your approach. These are words that most sales person longs to hear and why not? You deserve to close the project after all the hard work you've put in. Loads o' Francis Ford Crapolla!! The client is trying to pull a fast one on you and you know that! Inform the client very clearly what your standing is. Take a top down approach and inform the client what the possible deliverables are within the current pricing. If the additional functionalities are very important then they have to compromise on some other functionality. Either that or tell the client to bugger off!! No just joking!!

Talk to the client and try to find a middle ground. Most folks respond well to reason. If this still doesn't work, take up the the work but outsource it to a smaller company or get a freelancer to do that work. You may have to compromise on your profit just a little bit but its better than working at a loss or losing the project altogether.

No comments: