Each of these four dates provides you with insight into a customer's sense of urgency to achieve his or her goals. You should ask the dates in the following chronological order for these reasons:
Complete dates are when customers want to finish achieving their goals.
Once you know the customer's
Start dates are when they want to begin the process of achieving their goals. Again, no firm start or complete dates means customers have not assigned a cost to doing nothing. Their goal motivation is definitely low. Yet, you are now in a position to ask the customer whether he or she wants to start on this date and what date the budget needs to be approved by to accomplish this deadline.
Budget dates are when money becomes available to accomplish these goals. If customers have not budgeted money yet, it means they do not consider these goals priorities. They have not assigned a dollar figure to doing nothing. Focus your selling efforts on helping them to calculate these lost opportunity costs. For instance, if they set a goal that could save them $1,000 per day in labor costs, then every day they do not achieve this goal is costing them, in effect, $1,000. When the customer's complete, start, and budget dates are known, ask him or her when a decision needs to be made.
Decision dates are when customers decide whether to achieve a goal.
The date when customers want your proposals is not always a sign of their sense of urgency—or when they will make a decision. One thing often has no correlation to the other. You, and
Make sure customers agree on a signature or decision date that enables you to meet their completion dates. This date is extremely important if you work with long
The amount of money the customer has allocated to achieving goals raises five questions:
Has the customer set aside money to achieve these goals? Like budget dates, it illustrates the customer's sense of urgency.
Can the amount of money set aside achieve the customer's goals? You need to decide whether the customer has filet mignon taste with a hot dog wallet. Also, the larger the amount, the greater the chance is that the gatekeepers, advocates, and FDMs are separate people.
Who allocated the funding? This information points you in the direction of the FDM.
How did the customer
Is the money to fund the goals coming out of an operating budget or is it a capital investment? Goals
In addition, operating