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The 90 second last ditch effort that closes deals

Jacco van der Kooij

Written by Jacco van der Kooij

Founder, Winning by Design


I closed a deal today that otherwise would have been lost without an incredible sense of personal touch. Spoiler alert – the actual email I sent is included below.

Here’s how it went down:

My competitor had swooped in and was in the end stage of a deal I had been working on for months. I knew we were a better product and long term partner for this customer, but they knew we were more expensive and I didn’t show enough value in my demo. Email and voicemails weren’t doing the trick – so I got creative and went to YouTube.

A few months ago, I introduced ToutApp to a customer that was just starting to define a new sales structure. Several reps on the team tried the product, but with their shifting end of year priorities the timing wasn’t right to move forward.


Some new hires were more familiar with the competitor, and without running another trial, the key differentiators weren’t compelling compared to the convenience of using something familiar.

I heard that the discussion on next steps no longer included my company. I had to prove they were buying more than software – they were buying a partnership that would truly help their team grow. However, my last call to the VP asking for two minutes was politely declined.

It’s end of quarter, with a board meeting coming up, we’ve already decided, thanks but no thanks.

All you need is 90 seconds

Two options: Mark this up as a loss, or do something unique that would convince him the extra work to reverse the decision was an important use of his time. I recorded a 90 second video of myself discussing the three specific reasons why he should reconsider a partnership with ToutApp. I recorded and edited this through iMovie – and only took 10 minutes total.

How I won

In case he didn’t have time to watch the video, I summarized the reasons in the email. The video was completely personalized to him, and included his name and LinkedIn picture in the intro frame. I knew this was my last chance to earn their business, so I wanted to give it a shot.

My email:

Subject: I recorded a video for you {{first_name}}

Hi {{first_name}},

I want to be respectful of your time, so I recorded a quick video message (90s): link

In case you don’t have time to watch, I cover:

  1. How [Similar Customer] switched to ToutApp from [Competitor] and 1 rep on their team booked 21 meetings by using [specific feature]
  2. Best long term partner
  3. Innovation leader – our vision

I hope we can jump on one last call before you decide, and would like to introduce you to our CEO to explain further about our product vision.



Why you should try this unique touch for your deals too

By no means was my video particularly compelling, but it was the act of showing I cared about his team, his goals and his time that helped me standout. I’m looking forward to working with this team, and hope this story helps you go the extra mile for your customers.