Tag Archives: sales tips

Accelerating Sales: 3 Ways to Speed Your Deals to Close Faster

If you’re like most sales professionals, customers take their sweet time to place orders. Even though they clearly have a need, it seems that it takes awhile for them to pull the trigger on the deal. Read on to learn three ways that you can accelerate your sales, speeding deals to close faster.

No Deadline, No Deal

Deadlines drive all deals. Customer must have some compelling motivation for them to move forward.

There are two types of deadlines, internal and external.

An internal deadline is one that your customer must meet or there are unwanted consequences. For example, if they don’t buy more disc space, they’ll run out in the next month. And if they run out, the system shuts down.

The sales person imposes an external deadline and it always results in loss of margin. For example, “If you buy before the end of the month, I’ll knock off ten percent.” You have to give something away with an external deadline.

The secret to accelerating deals: Look for internal deadlines to determine what deals will close the fastest. Make sure that you watch that deadline and understand with missing the deadline means.

Any deal that you have on your sales forecast must have an identified internal deadline with the associated consequences. If it doesn’t have a deadline, it’s not a forecast, it’s fortune telling.

What is the Cost of Delay?

Calculate the customer’s cost of delaying the deal. If your offering saves them operating costs, reduces expensive labor, or decreases waste, make sure that the people who care about these wastes and losses know the costs of waiting.

Often your vendor or manufacturer can help you with these calculations. If they have calculators for return on investment (ROI) or total cost of ownership (TCO), you can compute the cost of waiting by examining at the cash flow savings and turning them into monthly figures. For example, if you calculate a five-year TCO, divide by 60 the difference between the costs of their current solution and your offering to come up with the monthly cost savings. If it’s a three-year TCO, divide by 36.

It could be that there will be a price increase or a special offer expires. If they order now, they avoid the higher cost. This could be substantial.

Or it might be that they’ll miss a deadline that costs them a missed opportunity, they’ll be fined, or pay a penalty. Perhaps they can discontinue expensive overtime or end a contract with an expensive consultant. All of these could be compelling events that triggers the deal.

The secret to accelerating deals: make sure that your customer knows the cost of waiting and the impact on their organization and their career.

What is the Value of Moving Forward?

The value of moving forward becomes the other side of the cost coin. What benefits does your customer enjoy when they agree to the deal? Who most cares about these benefits? That’s the person who needs to know about the value of moving forward.

Identify the new benefits that your customer gains. It could be that processes become more efficient. Perhaps they can take tap new resources. Maybe they’ll be more competitive because they can sell their offering at a lower price and still retain their profits.

Think about it this way; the cost of waiting is the least they should pay for your offering and the value of moving forward is the most they should pay. Between those two values lies the defensible budget range. If they didn’t have that defensible budget before, they do now.

The secret to accelerating deals: make sure that everyone in your customer’s organization knows the value of moving forward, and watch that deal pop loose.

Your Key Sales Resource: How to Develop Your Resourceful Sales Attitude

As a sales professional, you may be concerned about limited resources provided by your company. You might feel that you need more leads, more prospects, and more sales. 

Yet your job is to find more customers with the resources you have right now. Read on to learn how to develop your key sales resource.

Your Resourceful Attitude

Companies value a sales professional with a resourceful attitude. This means that you are going to use everything within your power to find business, take business away from your competition, and create value with every customer.

A slight shift in attitude can take you a long way. Instead of thinking, “I don’t have anything to work with,” make a list of the resources you do have right now. Brainstorming a list of resources can help you get unstuck and out of a sales rut.

To get you started here are a few resources to consider.

Who Can You Call Today?

One of your resources is who you know. I’ll bet that you have at least ten people that you haven’t talked with in the past month that you can check in with. It’s time to do that.

One seasoned sales pro told me that his cell phone contact list is his goldmine. While waiting in line, waiting for appointments, waiting for anything, he reviews his list to recall people who he hasn’t talked with for a while. He calls them and says, “I was just thinking about you! I’ve got some great news. But first, what are you up to these days?”

His great news is always about the current special, promotion, or new product introduction. He adjusts his message to his customers response so that it’s relevant to what they’re paying attention to right now.

What News Can You Share?

One of your resources is industry insight. I’ll bet that you could write an article about trends in your industry that your contacts would enjoy reading. You can you take thirty minutes to crank out 300 words about what’s happening in the next six months that your customers need to pay attention to or may miss something important. Make it a white paper. Turn it into a e-newsletter. Put it on your blog.

You may wish to review some of my articles to get inspiration on how to do this. Just remember, the first draft won’t be perfect, just get it out of your brain so that you have something to work with.

For example, if you’re expecting product shortages (such as disk drives in winter of 2011) let your customers know so that they can plan. If there is an upcoming trade show that customers need to know about, let them know. Perhaps you can offer them free admission to the event. If there are upcoming price increases on products, supplies, or accessories, let your customers know so that they can stock up at the lower price.

Put this on your to-do list and let me know what you write about.

Who is Happy With You Right Now?

One of your resources is satisfied customers. They will remind you of how good you are and can give you a better ego boost than your boss. If you don’t have any customers, call your mother.

If they compliment you, say, “Thank you! Who can you think of that can benefit from working with us?” With a bit of luck, you’ll get a referral on the spot. Instant resources!

Discover more of your personal resources. Get free immediately access to a telecast playback on supercharging your sales career at SalesSuperCharger.com. You can download the telecast to listen on your mp3 player or listen on line. You also get a downloadable PDF sales action guide. Go there now to access ideas you can use immediately.

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