Member-Driven Business Networking
Danny Wood – Sandler Training – Danny Wood Enterprises
For some salespeople, the amount of time it takes to set an initial prospect appointment is excessive. For others, the time spent defining and developing the opportunity is long. Others struggle with the amount of time it takes to secure a decision after submitting a proposal that drags out the selling cycle beyond reasonable limits.
What can you do to close sales more quickly?
Here are five specific strategies to shorten your selling cycle:
Don’t start the cycle unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
Initial prospect contact should focus on uncovering (or helping the prospect discover) Pain; their need or desire that can be fulfilled by your service. To start, you must have a prospecting message. Your 30-second commercial or elevator pitch, must resonate with prospects, but also differentiate you from your competitors.
Call at the top.
Calling too low in an organization is typically a waste of time. If your selling efforts must start at a lower level, it’s imperative that you quickly determine who makes buying decisions. Then, you must contact them before you even begin to craft solutions.
Deal with potential roadblocks early in the process.
If your experiences suggest there are likely to be roadblocks to closing the sale, address potential roadblocks early sales cycle. Don’t wait for the prospect to bring them up in the form of objections later. If there’s going to be a barrier to closing a sale, the sooner you uncover it and deal with it, the better. If the roadblock can be removed, continue the selling process. If not, end the process wasting as little time as possible. You can redirect your efforts to a more viable opportunity.
Disqualify opportunities as soon as possible.
Be as diligent qualifying prospects’ eligibility to become customers as they are qualifying you to becoming a service provider. Have they expressed the need or desire to obtain your service? Do they have the budget? Are they able to make a buying decision in a timely manner based on criteria to which you have both agreed? Do their delivery requirements fall within the range of your capabilities? If the prospect doesn’t measure up to your benchmarks, find a prospect that does.
Obtain firm commitments.
To keep the selling process moving forward, each step in the selling process should lead to the next step in a predictable and mutually agreed to manner. If you expect your prospect to discuss a particular topic, share specific information, or make a decision at the next meeting, then you must obtain their firm commitment to do so at the time you schedule the meeting. Failure to obtain commitments typically lead to the need for additional meetings or conversations… all of which extend the selling process.
If you start with the right people for the right reasons; deal with potential problems early in the sales process; rigorously qualify opportunities; and ensure that you and your prospects are in agreement, you’ll close the sale faster … which in turn means more sales…and more commissions.
Danny Wood, a certified Sandler trainer, is one of New Jersey’s most respected experts in sales and management. His work is noted for providing his clients with the ability to realize additional revenue and business that would otherwise have never materialized or would have been lost to competitors. He is uniquely positioned to impact an organization’s productivity and long-term success promoting a healthy, productive and meaningful work culture.
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