The Art of the Deal: Delaying Tactics

Tom DeLay is quitting, if you read the headlines. Only if you read into about paragraph 6, continued on page 19 do you see that he'll be gone in mid-June. I puzzled over this. Why not quit now? Why announce that you're leaving a couple of months from now?

I had to look to my line of work to come up with an answer. I'm in software sales. Specifically, enterprise software sales.

One of the things that we salesdroids look for when sizing up an opportunity is a "compelling event"--something that will force the prospect to make a decision. Y2K was a "compelling event": a whole lot of customers had to get upgrades done by December 31, 1999 or their systems would go belly up.

Sometimes we salesdroids can create our own "compelling event". One of those is a price increase. "Buy now, because the price goes up next quarter. You'll never get this deal again."

Could it be that Mr. DeLay has taken a page from the Sales 101 textbook? "Buy influence now, while it's cheap, before I go work for The Ashcroft Group and charge you big bucks for access to my Rolodex®"

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