Friday, July 31, 2009

Writing a "Close Plan Letter"

You've just gotten a verbal agreement for the sale - congratulations! But as we all know, a lot can happen between the verbal agreement and the signing of the contract. That's why it's essential you take control and let your client know the schedule ahead of time. Sales trainer Dan Adams has a great example of a letter he sends at this time - adapt it to fit your own situation, and you'll be less likely to lose the sale after the verbal agreement.

"Let's say the customer gives you a verbal agreement to purchase your product," says Adams. "Even with that in place, events can easily occur that could jeopardize your sale. A close plan letter is an effective way to manage the unpredictability of this time. It outlines the steps necessary to take the customer from her verbal commitment to the issuing of a formal, contingent-free purchase order and down payment."

"The superstar uses the letter to micro-manage the steps to complete the process, limit any surprises, and hasten the sale," explains Adams. "The close plan letter's purpose is to prevent surprises in the run-up to the final purchase order."

Here is a suggestion for a basic close plan letter:

July 31, 200X

Mr. Mike Jackson
Senior VP of Administrative Services
ABC Healthcare Systems
Chicago, IL 60603

Dear Mike:

Thank you for meeting with me today to discuss the _________ Project.

This note serves as a summary of the action items and owners required to finalize the paperwork and approvals by ___ . This is the date which will allow us to keep on schedule for your _____ Department's _______ (Critical Event).

·Department Approval---Owned by Mike by July 29th
·Board Approval--Owned by John by Aug 12
·Legal Approval & Signatures--Owned by Mike by Aug 21
·Procurement Signatures--Owned by Mike by Aug 31st.

I will call Jill on Friday to set up a meeting for a review of our status.

Sincerely,

Dan

Daniel Adams, author of Building Trust, Growing Sales, and creator of Trust Triangle Selling helps corporations improve their profits by optimizing the performance of their sales teams. He is a frequent and popular speaker at national sales meetings, workshops and association events. Visit www.trusttriangleselling.com.

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