It’s never over until it’s over.

Keep alert right to the end for any potential competitive forces that could derail your deal in the final stages.

Likewise, even if you feel even if you have been told that you’re not the selected option, keep open the possibility that you might be brought back in even at a very late stage. Deals can be won or lost after a vendor has been selected and in the commercial details raise an issue and a competitor could be you get back in.

Velocity and simplicity are key to keeping away competitors.

In this context, competitors can include doing nothing. Competitive forces can come from a change in the company environment, so be careful as you work through the final stages. Be mindful that competitors may attempt even if they are not going to win the deal to sabotage your commercials – for example, they could offer a silly price to put you under pressure to lower yours.

Amplifying Factors: What could stop them? Decision Maker engaged

Further reading :

How to Beat the Competition in Your Sales Process

If You Don’t Shorten Your Sales Cycle, Your Competition Will

The Sales Cycle: The Backbone of a Successful Sales Effort

RED – a last-minute offer that seems to be interesting to the prospect.

If the prospect does seem interested be careful as this would indicate that the competitor is turning their head and you need to move quickly to deflect any concerns or problems.

AMBER – Competitor trying to sabotage the deal for us but not succeeding.

So your proposition seems strong and sound with the prospect, but you need to move fast. 

Green – No activity to sabotage the deal.

At this stage, this is quite normal as the prospect, having selected you, keeps true to you.  But a good competitor will have left the door open so be careful.

Mitigations – What to Do?

You now need to close the deal before the competition gets back in. Stay close to your prospect and make sure there are no surprises from your team that could upset the thinking of the prospect.

Be available if the prospect needs to speak to you. Clearly, they are in buying mode, and a credible proposal or offer even from a brand new competitor could cause them to hesitate.

One of the best ways to secure the closure is to begin planning or moving forward into the next phase, so the customer can keep focused on your solution and what you can bring to the table.

“It’s yours to lose” is the mindset you need to have in this phase.   This is a different approach than up to here where our focus has been on winning the business, making sure nothing goes wrong is very important so you can close the deal..

If you have any concerns that other people in your organization may be less customer focused be careful how they are introduced at this stage and possibly hold off some interactions with their team until after the signing. It’s a fact of life that sometimes the most technical people are not the most customer-centric, so make sure you introduce your team at the appropriate step.

No surprises. Check and check again that the paperwork aligns with what was discussed and agreed during the winning the business phases so they won’t be tempted to speak to your competitor

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