There are too may ways in your sales process that a sale can be delayed. All those delays add time to your sales cycle and cost you money. Instead of delaying the sale, you should be looking for ways to shorten your sales cycle.
Only make sales calls when you have the possibility of a sale
Every sales activity has a cost. It costs you time to make a telephone call, to meet a customer at a sales call, to prepare a sales proposal, or to deliver a presentation. What if you tried to reduce the activities to be lower cost? For example, if you can sell on the telephone you avoid taking the time and expense of making a face-to-face sales call. Have you considered how you could sell over the telephone? What if a proposal wasn’t required?
Make each sales call count.
You can reduce the number of sales calls required to make the sale if you need to sell face-to-face. One way to reduce the number of sales calls is to make each sales call count. I often ask salespeople when I work with them how they know their sales call was a success. The only way to know is that they have met their sales call objective. The sales call objective that you set for your first customer meeting is especially important.
After the first sales call you must know if that prospect is a qualified one or not. You can only continue to meet with prospects who have the potential to buy in the time frame you have to meet your sales goals. If a prospect could buy in the volumes you need, but will need to purchase at some distant time, they are no longer a top prospect. They get allocated less time this year.
Others who have both potential and are likely to purchase this year become your true prospects. You have qualified your prospect after the first sales call when you know who is the decision maker or decision makers, when the decision will be made, how it will be made and what their issue is that causes them to need to buy from you now because it’s an urgent need.
Be sure that things move along after your sales call.
You can shorten your sales cycle in other ways. Often a customer will agree to do something in order for you to move through your sales process. When you get agreement from a customer also get agreement when he will complete the task. Always be looking for ways to shorten the time it takes for his or your task to be completed. Every day you are not selling product is money that’s not in your pocket.
Selling is not a random event. You control the process. You will sell more and make more money when you understand that controlling your sales cycle is an important sales objective. Then you can focus on shortening it.
Best wishes on your sales success.