How Best to Handle the Late Ask from Your Prospect
This happens ALL. THE. TIME. You’re in the final stages of bringing on a customer (contract negotiations) and they come with a late ask. It may not even be big or a show-stopper, but you’re now dreading the fact that you have you go back up the chain for approval.
Just keep it simple, and go armed with these four points:
- Here’s what they asked for
- Here’s why it’s important to them
- Here’s what we’ll get in return
- If we agree to this, the deal will come in on X day
As a (former) head of sales, when someone came to me with a late ask, but also committed to A) getting something in return and B) ensuring that if we did capitulate, the deal IS coming in, I was super impressed.
If you’re not doing this, you’re setting yourself up for a tough negotiation, not only with your prospect, but also having to negotiate internally as well. Not much fun.
Here’s some sample language you can use with the prospect when this happens:
“Thanks for clarifying, I understand the request and why it’s important to your team, and I’m willing to go to bat because I believe in the success of our long term relationship. That said, before I take this back and try to push it through, can you assure me that this will get us over the finish line?”
Remember, if you don’t get the commitment to sign from the customer in exchange for their ask, but get internal approval, what happens when the prospect comes back with another ask later? Your internal capital tank just hit empty.
More importantly when you go for that internal approval, you’ll be in a position of strength internally, as you’re telling the team – “This gives us a win!”.
It’s nice asking for something internally when you KNOW it will get the deal done!