We all want the mega deal, that mega win that pushes us into accelerators and makes us a legend within the company culture. But, how do we get one of these mega deals over the finish line? How do we execute something that might be more complex than anything we have done so far in our careers?
As I started to write this article, I remembered that recently a friend had recommended a book to me, “The One Thing,” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. It was a very thought-provoking book, especially concerning ideas about where we all spend our time and energy. Simple in a way, but the truths about life usually are. My biggest takeaway was that we need to first focus our time and energy on the one thing that makes the biggest difference. The rest will fall into place like dominos. Sounds simple but, unfortunately, we all struggle to know what the one thing is and then to stop doing the other things that get in the way. Get clear on the one thing that gets you to your goal, then clear out the to-do list, for an extremely focused activity that drives you closer to that goal today.
If your goal is measured by an annual quota, we all know that getting the big mega deal makes a huge difference. Sure, we can also get there by closing smaller opportunities, but they all take the same amount of energy to close. The first step is getting focused on finding and developing a mega deal. What does a mega deal mean for you? What are the characteristics of a perfect client profile? Once you identify a mega opportunity, I believe there are then five keys to engagement.
Here are the five keys to handling a mega deal:
- Influence Mapping (Relationship Mapping) – we have all heard we need to call high and wide. Understand all the players who can say yes or no to the decision. Who influences whom? Who wins (vested Personal Value) if the decision goes your way vs. the competition, or vs. doing nothing?
- Don’t be single threaded – connect with at least three executives. Calling high and wide means engagement in conversation. So many of us get single threaded, focused on one or two people. Make sure to confirm your mutual plan with as many people as you can in your influence map.
- Speak their language – it is not about your solution. It is all about their business goals/metrics and the impact you may be able to provide. Engagement needs to be about them seeing the art of the possible. Demonstrate how you might be able to help them achieve their business goals/metrics. What might be the measurable impact/outcome to the business if they choose you and your company?
- Do your homework – to speak their language you must understand their business and do your research. Understand the company, know its leadership, read its press releases, discover trends, etc., in order to better position your solution over the competition.
- Be prepared to challenge their thinking – easy to say, but to do it you will need to practice, practice, practice. Demonstrate your understanding of the current state of affairs, come prepared with thought-provoking questions, and practice to ask them with confidence.
Many times, it’s not that we don’t know what to do, but simply that we are not doing the key activities needed to manage a complex mega deal. Sure, there are many variables outside of our control, but the reward of a huge win will be worth the effort.