Is there a magic formula for shortening the sales cycle? Unfortunately, the answer is no. But there are some tried-and-true techniques that can help improve the time it takes to close a sale. After finding qualified prospects, use these to help prospects discover how your products or services assist them solve problems or become more effective in their jobs.
- Ask questions. Instead of first talking to prospects about the benefits of your products or services, ask questions. Never assume you know the reasons what they need or why they need it. By asking open-ended questions about their needs and priorities, you can use the information to address their needs.
- Create a plan for understanding and addressing objections. Some of the most common objections are: money or budget issues, no recognized need, or the wrong timing. In many cases, objections indicate future interest and present additional opportunities to discuss solutions.
- Involve your marketing team. Interested prospects will seek out additional information to assist them in their decision making process. Ensure your website, videos, presentations, case studies, white papers, brochures and flyers, blog posts, emails and other marketing pieces are customer-centric and address questions commonly asked by prospects.
- Always define a next step. Schedule the next appointment to talk or meet with prospects. This simple step saves valuable time lost playing telephone tag or sending emails that might be ignored or overlooked. It also shows your ongoing interest in winning the business.
Sell the sizzle not the steak
As Ben Feldman once said, “Don’t sell life insurance. Sell what life insurance can do.” By focusing on the benefits of solving the prospect’s problems, instead of describing the ins and outs of your products or services, you assist prospects in seeing the value in working with your company.