SLOW THINGS DOWN TO SPEED THINGS UP
Several weeks ago, a shared the following, “Jack, I can’t tell you how many times I tell my team to slow things down to speed things up.” A few days later, another client told me the same thing, “I tell my team, you need to slow it down to speed it up!” These seems to contradict the sales experience.
Unsurprisingly, both teams are thriving. In fact, one set a record in September and October. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The second client explained further, “Every rep that has bought into the process is succeeding. Those that have not, are not.”
Slowing down your sales experience will speed it up. Here’s why…
I’m talking about creating a sales experience with discernible steps and gates. Yes, gates. A prospective client does not move on in the sales experience until:
- All the activities for a step have been completed (external AND internal)
- All the required information has been collected
- Upon completing 1&2, you determine if they are allowed to move forward
Allowed?!? Yes, allowed. There needs to be clear, intentional decision making at each step of the experience. It does not kill the momentum of the opportunity, it will increase the likelihood of closing a sale.
How is this possible? Answer this question: How many times has your sales team rushed through the sales experience only to be left hanging at the end?
More than half would be a generous estimate – on the low side. In your haste to “get it done”, you never took the time to truly understand why they want to buy. You rushed to “beat” your competition and either ended up missing important information you needed to create a compelling solution, or they are not a fit and you don’t even know it. But wow – your pipeline is sure full of “opportunities”!
It Takes Guts
Be respectful of your potential customer’s time, but don’t waste it:
- Collaborate with the prospective customer and gain agreement at the beginning on how the sales experience will play out.
- Don’t give in to their request to skip a critical step.
- Let them know how the process benefits them and will enhance their decision-making process.
- Respectfully walk away if they are too anxious or if it is not a fit.
It takes guts to do this. However, once you learn to ride the bike, it gets easier and easier until it becomes second nature. Get out there and fill your pipeline with the right opportunities. The process may feel like slowing down, but in the end you are speeding it up because you will get recognize right-fit customers and create profitable, successful relationships.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jack founded the Corlea Group in early 2009 with his first client coming on board in January of that year. Jack loves to coach. He coaches his clients and he helps coach his kid’s teams – it’s his passion and has been for over 25 years as a professional, father and volunteer. Why? Because he likes to help a team succeed.