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Is there a Silver Bullet to Closing Year-End Deals?

Your Silver Bullet to Closing Year-End DealsI have been talking with many of my clients and associates over the last month or so about what they need to do for closing year-end deals. In a sense, they’re looking for a silver bullet. I wish there was one, but there is not. Every situation is different and we need to be mindful of that. Especially since each situation involves people, and people come to the table with their own needs, wants, goals, priorities and risk tolerances. There are ways you can maximize your knowledge of which deals will or will not close by year end – a method that transcends individual people yet capitalizes on the same. The answer is a closing plan.  You know that; so your next question would be:  Is there more to it? Now, we all know what a closing plan is. It should list the specific activities that each party must do in order to ensure a successful contract execution or implementation. It has responsible parties and specific dates attached to each activity. We have all seen this many times and use it as part of our every day selling. But, are you also asking for a regular review of this document? Do you have a weekly meeting set up with key stakeholders on both sides, reviewing each activity and date to ensure a contract can get signed on or before midnight of December 31st? If this is a regular meeting with your customer, how many times does the customer cancel or postpone and is not available to meet? Are activities slipping and you are, little by little, seeing your window close without enough data to know why, or how to fix it? A closing plan would not tell you this, but having (or not having) regular check-ups will. Also, examine those deals that you are forcing – wishing and hoping – to get done for your year end. Even though the customer does not have a business reason to get it done this year, are they simply placating you so you’ll stop bugging them? The closing plan AND regular meetings will tell you this very quickly. So, it’s not just a closing plan that is necessary for closing year-end deals. It also takes the desire from the customer to get the deal done by a certain date in order for them to achieve their desired business goal. This ultimately will lead to a higher level of engagement with the customer, ensuring the closing plan dates stay on track. It is always better to have your customer lead this charge rather than you. However, a closing plan is a key component needed to do your job. So, use the closing plan and the customer’s engagement level to meet the dates agreed to as your barometer for success. Janice Mars, SalesLatitudeJanice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter


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