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Killer Sales Tip: How To Ask Your Customer To Help You

jordan stupar Oct 03, 2020

In 2016, I closed a very large 7-figure contract with Sprint Wireless (before merging with T-Mobile) after working two years to get it done. The deal closed on October 31st and I had solidified my spot as 'top producer' in my office. Closing this deal meant that I was going to receive the largest commission check of my life and qualified me to earn an additional $188,000 annual bonus! I was excited, to say the least.

Until I read the terms of the contract and learned what 'Net-60' was.

'Net-60' is the term frequently used by larger companies to inform their vendor that they will agree to pay an invoice no later than 60 days after receiving it.

Although I had 'closed the deal' with Sprint, I wouldn't receive my commission or the life changing $188,000 bonus until after my company received payment on their first invoice. 

I realized that there was barely any chance of receiving payment before the end of the calendar year due to the holidays and that, despite having closed the largest deal in my company's history, I would lose out on collecting that life-changing bonus (not to mention forfeiting my 'Salesperson of the Year' award!). 

This unfortunate situation taught me a great deal about sales and also helped me develop a true, 'whatever it takes' mentality. I forced myself to be creative and figure out a way to expedite payment on my first invoice.

I ended up explaining to Sprint's Regional President, who signed my deal, that if I was unable to collect the first month's payment before December 31st, that I would not receive my bonus, nor any commission. He quickly made a few calls to the AP (accounts payable) department and ended up convincing them to remit payment to my company before Christmas.

I received the first month's payment on December 27th, just in time for it to count towards my commissions and my $188,000 year end bonus (not to mention officially winning the award for top producer!). Of course, I'll always remember that day.

The point here is this: Neither Sprint as a company nor the Regional President had any incentive to expedite payment until I communicated what was on the line for me.

I learned that despite there being a few 'bad apples' out there, most people are good and do want to help others when they can - and that is exactly what happened here. 

Hopefully my experience encourages you to be transparent with your customers and to let them know that not only are they going to love doing business with you and enjoy your products, but they are in a position to help you, too.

If you enjoyed this lesson and want to learn more about closing deals with enterprise companies and want to take your sales skills to the next level, activate your membership to Stupar Sales Academy, where you'll instantly access hundreds of relevant and effective sales lessons.

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