One of the problems that occur in a lot of sales is a loss of momentum, a typical way a sales process will go is as follows:
- You put a call in which excites them because you understand their pain well
- They see a great bit of marketing and get in touch
- They have a problem with their existing solution and call in
It’s obvious to say but the following contacts will either build momentum to a peak when they sign on the dotted line, or drift off to a stream of disappointing chasing calls or meetings.
So what can you do to keep that all important momentum.
1. Be insanely on time with everything you do.
This is so important and rarely done by sales people – we are by our very nature not “detail people” but you need to set the pace, if you take hours to get back to them they will get back to you in hours the same is true of days and weeks. And because the other sales people aren’t naturally going to be this on it you have a great opportunity to separate yourself from the pack.
If you say you are going to send some information do it, but do it straight away not at the end of he day when you are reviewing your notes that minute. If you agree to call at 9 then be ready at 8:58 and wait for your clock to tick over to 9 then call on the dot, if you are meeting them be 15 minutes early but ask reception not to call until 5 minutes to. Make sure anyone else that needs to communicate with them is as on time – be the project manager, be a tosser about it if you have to but ensure that the only input they get is on time and accurate.
2. Remind Remind and Remind
Look back at the top 3 first contact scenarios – what was it that got you talking in the first place? There is always a pain, always something that could be improved or something normally aspirational if they came in via a marketing campaign. It’s very easy to get distracted by all the detail you’ll get into – and often they’ll get lost in it as well.
Think of it like a relationship – it is easy to get annoyed with the day to day so it’s healthy to remind yourself of the reasons why you got together in the first place.
So whenever you are making a point or following up you need to ensure them why you started talking in the first place.
3.Set them tight deadlines
Similar to the first point but don’t give them any room to delay the process, laying out exactly what needs to happen and by when to “stay on track” is a good way to set expectations early. Also if they say they can’t get what you initially ask them to do within an acceptable time frame then ask what they can get done. Basically negotiate a position where they have to get something back to you – this more than anything keeps them marching to your pace – which will be faster than they would have naturally gone.
So do the above and see you sales cycle shorten and your close rate increase!