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Is That Agreeable Prospect Actually Going to Sign With You?

The Situation

Jenna sells wholesale office supplies to businesses. She has called on prospect Andy several times in recent months. He seems to like her company’s products.

She hopes that Andy will commit to a contract today:

Andy:

You want coffee? It’s about the only thing your company doesn’t provide (laughs).

Jenna:

I’m fine. Andy, since you are familiar with my company’s inventory, I hope we can review the pricing and contract terms I sent to you.

Andy:

Oh. Well, of course, we can get to it. You know we’ve had several offers from other companies. You probably can’t please everyone when —

Jenna:

—  I’d like to show what we could do for you. What do you think of this program?

Andy:

Looks terrific!

Jenna:

Good. And did you notice the volume discount on copy paper?

Andy:

Yes, it’s great!

 

Jenna feels everything is going well — too well? Finally, Andy asks a question:

Andy:

I noticed that this contract is for three years. I guess those are always the terms?

Jenna:

Well, that’s our standard contract. The length is what allows us to offer these deep discounts.

Andy:

Sure. Makes sense. My boss generally doesn’t go for longer contracts. But office supplies are different. It should be fine.

 

Andy remains optimistic about the contract and says he’ll get back to her, hopefully with good news. 

Later, in an e-mail, Andy apologizes to Jenna, saying that his company has decided to re-sign with their current provider. Jenna is frustrated and perplexed. What advice about Q4 influencing skills might she have applied to achieve a better result?

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